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Please note: This post is from our website archive. Some of the information within this post may now be out-of-date.

Junior School – Week 1

Deputy Principal - Students, Ms Gabby Smith

Deputy Principal - Students, Ms Gabby Smith

Read more: staff news, significant changes to Junior School canteen, Parent/Teacher interviews, Junior School communication channels, diary dates, complete staff for 2022, pastoral care, co-curricular sport and swimming events, summer season sport trials, Junior School Learning Hub, Home Learning Club.


Welcome to the new school year at Waverley College Junior School. It has been wonderful having the boys begin the school year on campus. There is excitement in the air for our Year 5 students as they navigate this new environment, and our Year 6 students as they settle into their busy schedules for their final year of primary school.

During the holidays, I published an article in Mums at the Table, on useful tips for settling back into primary school.

>>> Click here to view the article Helpful Tips for Coming Back to Primary School.

Staff News

On behalf of the Junior School, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Mr Matt Ryan for his distinguished service to the College, as he embarks on a new journey as the Sports Coordinator at St Charbel’s College.

Matt has been an asset to our profession since he began his career as a targeted teacher at Castle Hill Public School in 1998, where he taught for three years before joining us. Matt has been at the Junior school for 21 years, and has held various positions including Assistant Director of Sport, Assistant Director of Co-Curricular, and Acting Assistant Director of Junior School.

Every colleague who has worked with Matt would recognise his calm manner, organisational skills and his genuine care for the students at Waverley. I wish him every happiness and success in his new role, and thank him most sincerely for his valued contribution to Waverley.

We welcome to the Junior School the following staff members: Mr Alon Horry, Mr Elliott McKimm, Mr Gianfranco Leon Rivera and Ms Jade Sparks. We look forward to introducing you to these staff members in person, throughout 2022.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Ms Deanne Seamons who was married over the holiday period. We wish her and her husband David all the very best on this new journey. She will now be known as Mrs Edwards.


Important Changes to Junior School Canteen

Beginning Monday, 31 January 2022, there are exciting new changes to our food and drink service, as we are introducing a new, improved canteen service in the Junior School.

Please take the time to learn more on our website about the significant changes to the way breakfast is accessed, and the ordering and payment options for recess, lunch, drinks and healthy snacks. The Junior School canteen link is below.

>>> Click here to view the significant changes to the Junior School canteen.

We hope you and your son enjoy trialling our new food and drink service in Term 1.

Parent/Teacher Interviews

Formal Parent/Teacher interviews will be held on Tuesday, 14 June after you have received your son’s school report. Next week, you will receive a parent questionnaire via email. Please fill this out to inform the classroom teacher on how to best support your son this year. If you would like to meet with your class teacher before this time, or feel you need to discuss your son in a face-to-face meeting, please do not hesitate to contact your class teacher. 

Junior School Communication

All communication regarding news, updates, events and social information will be delivered through the weekly newsletter Nurrunga and our Waverley College app. 


Nurrunga is the College newsletter. It provides information and dates for important events around the school, and a weekly update from the Principal and College Leadership Team, including myself. Parents are recommended to check Nurrunga when the link is emailed to them on Fridays during term time.

Waverley College App 

>>> Click here to view the Waverley College App User Guide.

The Waverley College app is a school mobile app that communicates directly with iPhone and Android devices. It provides all school users with instant “push” notifications and alerts to their mobile devices. 

  • Changes to the regular school day
  • Sport changes
  • Upcoming events

College Website

The College website provides a great deal of information about the school including news, events, contacts, subject information, policy documents, cyber safety, sports fixtures and the College calendar.

>>> Click here to view the College website.

Facebook – Year 5, 2022

The Facebook page is run by the Parent Representatives and will not replace communications from the College. For those who do not have Facebook, you will still receive all the information relevant to your son’s year group via the Waverley College app and Nurrunga newsletter. The Facebook Group acts as an optional hub for your year group, and allows parents to connect online. The Facebook page for Year 5 is Waverley College Class of 2029 Parents, and parents will be asked three security questions before their request can be accepted.

Diary Dates

Please find below some reminders about upcoming events. For all of Term 1 events, please refer to the College calendar. 

  • Monday, 31 January – Summer Sports Trials
  • Tuesday, 1 February – Swimming Trials and Summer Sports Trials 
  • Wednesday, 2 February – Year 5, laptop deployment
  • Friday, 11 February – Swimming Carnival 
  • Monday, 14 February – Years 5 and 6, Parent Information and Welcome Evening
  • Wednesday, 9 March – Class/Individual/Summer Sport Photos
  • Wednesday, 23 March – Friday, 25 March – Year 5 Camp, Stanwell Tops
  • Monday, 28 March – Wednesday, 30 March – Year 6 Camp, The Collaroy Centre

Our Complete Staff for 2022

  • Mrs Gabrielle Smith – Director of Junior School
  • Ms Gabrielle Bransby – Assistant Director of Junior School/ Curriculum Coordinator and Year 6 Gold Teacher
  • Ms Tanya Buttling – Year 5 Blue Class Teacher
  • Mrs Audrey Coupe – School Secretary
  • Ms Deanne Edwards – Learning Support 
  • Ms Margaret Fitzgerald – Learning Support
  • Mr Stephen Ghattas – Assistant Director of Identity & Student Formation and Year 6 Indigo Class Teacher
  • Ms Jennifer Hoare – Year 5 Gold Class Teacher
  • Mr Alon Horry – Year 5 Red Class Teacher
  • Mr Matthew Johnston – Year 6 Red Class Teacher 
  • Mrs Alexsandra McCredie – Psychologist
  • Mr Elliott McKimm – Year 5 Orange Class Teacher
  • Mr Thomas Olds – Year 6 Orange Class Teacher
  • Mr Gianfranco Leon Rivera – Spanish Teacher
  • Mrs Michelle Rollins – Music and Drama    
  • Ms Jade Sparks – Year 6 Blue Class Teacher
  • Mr Anthony Stanton – Year 6 White Class Teacher
  • Ms Charlotte Stephens – Year 5 Indigo Class Teacher 
  • Ms CJ Tweedie – Year 5 White Class Teacher
  • Mr Jack Wachtel – Assistant Director of Co-Curricular (Years 5-8) and PDHPE Teacher
  • Mrs Dawn Young – Psychologist
  • Mrs Natasha Zivanovic – Literacy and Innovation Teacher


Mrs Gabrielle Smith

Director of Junior School



Pastoral Care 

Our Pastoral Care system within the Junior School is based on promoting positive behaviour. Within each class, individual teachers have their own merit systems for rewarding positive behaviour. Our whole-school approach also rewards students for displaying positive behaviour both in the classrooms and on the playground. Some examples of our positive rewards are:

  • Class Merit System
  • Honour Awards
  • House Points Competition
  • Positive Notes (notification sent to parents via TASS Lounge)

From time to time, students make decisions that breach the school rules, therefore they may need to think about their behaviours and decision making as a consequence. Some examples of these are:

  • Restorative Conversations with teachers
  • Lunchtime Detentions (notification sent to Parents via TASS Lounge)
  • Afternoon Detentions (for more serious breaches of school rules – notification sent to parents via TASS Lounge)

TASS Notifications

Notifications sent through TASS Lounge are there to inform Parents of both positive and negative incidents throughout the year. It is not always necessary to contact your son’s teacher if they receive a negative note or detention. Please be aware that teachers will be in contact with you if the incident is serious.

I look forward to working with yourselves and your son this year. If you have any questions or concerns please email me at:


Mr Stephen Ghattas

Assistant Director of Identity & Student Formation



Co-Curricular Sport and Swimming Events

Co-curricular during Term 1 is definitely the busiest time of the year, full of exciting participatory events for our Junior School students. Please carefully take note of the key dates coming up, so you are prepared ahead of time:

Important Co-Curricular Dates for Term 1

  • All Day Sports Trials (Monday, 31 February – Week 2, Term 1) – Locations: Junior School Campus, Senior School Campus and Waverley Park
  • Half-Day Swimming Trials (9am – 12pm, Tuesday, 1 February – Week 2, Term 1) – Location: Senior School Swimming Pool
  • Half Day Sports Trials (12:45pm – 3pm, Tuesday, 1 February – Week 2, Term 1)
  • Junior School Swimming Carnival (Friday, 11 February – Week 3, Term 1) – Location: Senior School Swimming Pool
  • Junior School Co-curricular Sport – Round 1 Commencement (Saturday, 12 February – Week 3, Term 1)
  • Elephant Ed: Puberty and Embracing Change (Year 6 students) – Parent Webinar (Wednesday, 24 February, 6-7pm. Information will follow closer to the event – Week 4, Term 1)
  • Elephant Ed: Puberty and Embracing Change (Year 6 students) (Tuesday, 1 March – Week 5, Term 1)
  • Concluding Round of Term 1 Co-curricular Sport (Saturday, 19 March – Week 8, Term 1)
  • Year 5 Stanwell Tops Camp (Wednesday, 23 – 25 March) – Location: Stanwell Tops, NSW
  • Year 6 Collaroy Centre Camp (Monday, 28 – 30 March) – Location: Collaroy, NSW

Summer Season Sport Trials

It is especially exciting to have all students joining us on campus for Week 1, and with hope of an uninterrupted year ahead. Your son will have the opportunity to trial for first and potentially his second sports preference on both Monday, 31 January and Tuesday, 1 February, at our Summer Season Sport Trials. The Sport Trials best allow our coaches and staff to organise teams in preparation for Round 1. Please take the time to read the Selection Process document below, to best understand how your son will be placed into a team each season.

>>> Click here to view the Sport Trials Selection Process document.

As mentioned above, in Week 2, your son will spend the first half of the day participating in swimming trials. This is in preparation for the Junior School House Swimming Carnival on Friday, 11 February. Students will swim 50m freestyle and be timed to help with allocating swim heats for the carnival. 

Junior School House Swimming Carnival

Key Information for the Sport and Swimming Trials

  • All students are to wear their PE uniform to school and bring any other required attire or equipment for their sport trials – including swimmers (jammers/speedos), rugby boots, cricket gear, tennis racquet etc.
  • All students need to pack a drink bottle, Waverley sports cap, sunscreen and a packed recess and lunch for both Monday and Tuesday trials.
  • On the day of the swimming trials, all students must wear their Waverley PE uniform to school with their swim uniform underneath (jammers/speedos) or in their bag.
  • All students will need to pack a towel and the items mentioned above for the swimming trials.

Sun Protection: As mentioned above, all students are asked to pack sunscreen for the trial days. All sports trial areas will have a sunscreen tub, and staff and coaches will continually remind students to re-apply sunscreen at each break period. 

Please ensure you place further responsibility on your son to manage his re-applying of sunscreen throughout the day, as the responsibility cannot solely be placed on staff and coaches.


Mr Jack Wachtel

Assistant Director of Co-Curricular (Years 5-8)



Junior School Learning Hub

Learning spaces should spark imagination; nurture and develop creativity; support a diverse range of learning activities; and above all, support a diverse range of learners.  

The Learning Hub aims to guide the boys with lifelong transversal skills – critical thinking, collaborating, innovating, and problem-solving. This will be achieved through a myriad of activities, including the maker space, mentors, guest speakers, competitions, inquiry-based learning, public speaking and debating.

Each class receives two lessons per cycle in the Learning Hub. The Learning Hub is open to the boys every morning from 8:15am, as well as every lunchtime. Home Learning Club also operates out of this space Monday – Thursday.

Learning Hub Events

Throughout the year there are a number of events students can participate in through the Learning Hub:

  • Waverley Reading Challenge
  • Lunchtime Drawing Club 
  • Public Speaking Competition 
  • Lunchtime Talks
  • Author Visits
  • Illustrator Visits
  • Pop-up Book Shop 
  • Book Character Parade 
  • Board Games

The purpose of this two-period course is to teach students literature and innovation skills, a love of reading, as well as teaching students how to locate and analyse resources in a safe and concise manner. 

Junior School Learning Hub 2021

Learning Hub Learning in 2022

Throughout the year the boys will learn how to:

  • Locate all sections in, and the layout of, the Learning Hub
  • Borrow and return resources in a consistent manner at an appropriate level
  • Operate the online catalogue to locate a resource
  • Use a range of information literacy skills to define, locate, select, organise, present and assess work
  • Access and use resources in a variety of formats
  • Connect, build confidence, exchange ideas and learn from each other
  • Understand and use effective and efficient research strategies
  • Participate in visible thinking routines
  • Develop future-ready skills of the Digital Revolution, activities comprised of research, inquiry, critical and creative thinking, and public speaking

I encourage the boys to become familiar with this wonderful space.

Home Learning Club

Home Learning Club begins in Week 3 and runs Monday – Thursday afternoons from 3pm – 4pm. You will receive a link in the Junior School section of Nurrunga, allowing you to sign up closer to Week 3. Please note, you are only able to sign up weekly.


Mrs Natasha Zivanovic

Literacy and Innovation Teacher