Deputy Headmaster and Head of Preparatory School

Mr Jeff Symms

Music bringing people together:- Boys visit Anglicare

In non-Covid years, our music department often organise for our boys to attend local aged-care facilities to perform and spend time with the residents.  This is always warmly appreciated and the boys get as much out of it as the older folk they are visiting.   In more recent years, this has expanded with the addition of a special concert performance held here on campus and we look forward to the return of this concert in 2022.

This year, due to these activities being curtailed due to Covid-19, a small group of boys, supported by by the families, in particular Jodie Pace and accompanist Sharka Budinska decided to undertake a visit.  Caelan Pace had contacted the Anglicare manager as part of his interview process for Round Square captain and has continued to visit.  The courtyard concert was arranged and was a huge hit.

The boys enjoyed performing, and also meeting the residents. One of them, Sophia who is 94, was an avid piano player in her day, but also loves the cello.  She explained to the boys how her heart would still love to play. She even had a little dance. Some of the residents sat outside where the boys played, and the rest were inside just behind the windows in the dining room enjoying the music.

Well done to these boys for their care and initiative.

  • Caelan Fitch
  • Caelan Pace
  • Ashton Bates Williams
  • Petr Soukop
  • Lennox Bowles
  • Jack Moody

Dancing Success

Just under two weeks ago, Joshua Nauta Hendriks participated in the Queensland Stage Championships for Irish dancing.  In what is always a hotly contested competitions, Joshua won his category – Under 8 boys.

This is an outstanding achievement and comes after a lot of hard work and commitment.  He trains around 13-14 hours each week and currently has the dream of qualifiying for the World Championships some time soon.  (Competitors must be aged 10 years or over).

I have had the privilege of seeing Joshua’s dance at this competition and he is a talented young man indeed.

Congratulations Joshua!

Academic Talent Development Projects

On Wednesday evening and throughout Thursday the boys in the ATD program shared the culmination of their individual research projects.  The boys have spent the term researching a topic of keen interest to them, and determining what information an in what format they would like to share with others.

Whilst I couldn’t be present on the evening, I spent an enjoyable morning on Thursday perusing the projects and having some of the boys explain their research to me.  What an incredibly diverse range of topics and how creatively they were presented.

The project really provides the boys with the opportunity to develop their research and analytical skills, but as importantly, learn about time management, develop a sustainable work schedule and then produce an engaging presentation.

While to some, it is the end product that matters most, it is actually the learning journey that the boys engage in that is the real benefit of such work.  They will have learnt a great deal about themselves whilst undertaking the process.

Congratulations to all boys who took part and to Mrs Jasna Poeszus for her stewardship of this program.


Presentation Assembly

Please note that at the Years 3 – 6 Presentation Assembly (Friday November 19, 12.00pm) the following awards are presented.  Parents of boys receiving awards are welcome to attend the presentation in person.

Awards include:-

Reading Challenge, Prep Pockets (Music and Sport), Arrowsmith graduation, House Spirit, 2022 House Leaders, and Table Tennis Champions.

Change to the awarding of Prep Pursuit Certificates

The Prep Pursuit certificate has been traditionally presented to boys in Reception to Year 4 as a mark of their progress through the grades.  A number of years ago, Year 3 and 4 boys were included in the academic award program to bring them into line with the older students as they attend the same Celebration of Achievement.

From this year, the Prep Pursuit will cease to be presented to Years 3 and 4.  These levels will now be eligible for class awards for Academic achievement or improvement, personal and social responsibility and approach to learning.

Class Placements

At TSS Preparatory parents are not permitted to request specific teachers for their sons.  Our staff are outstanding, highly educated and when they place each boy into his class for the following year, they do so with a great deal of consideration of his social, emotional and academic needs.  Parents are not in the best position to objectively assess all of this and often simply go off car park chat as to who the ‘best’ teacher is.  In addition, what may suit one child from a family, may not always suit another.  Let the professionals do their job and select the right teacher for your son.

However, from time to time, there may be a piece of significant information that may help with the placement of a boy.  If this is the case, parents are advised that this information can only be considered if it is put in writing addressed to Mr Symms, Deputy Headmaster and Head of Preparatory School, and delivered to the Preparatory School office.  Alternatively, you can email on [email protected] to provide this information.

Please remember that only issues of a highly significant nature can be considered.  Any such information must be to Mr Symms by Friday November 5.  Late submissions cannot be considered.

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