Deputy Headmaster and Head of Preparatory School

Mr Jeff Symms


Mathematics and Forensic Science activities had our boys and girls combining their brain power!

As part of the program of bringing our TSS Preparatory School boys and the Junior School girls from St Hilda’s together, our Year 4 students spent a morning on Tuesday this week working their way through a series of mathematical problems and challenges and then turned their minds to using their analytical and investigative skills to solve conundrums posed in their Forensic Science activities.

The opportunities presented to the TSS/St Hilda’s students range across purely social occasions, to the artistic or sporting pursuits and of course academic get togethers.  The development of social skills, group work collaborative skills, teamwork, patience, respecting divergent thinking and broadening their friendship circles are all worthy endeavours and the boys and girls enjoy these mornings, or full day events tremendously.

Thanks to all of the teachers across both schools who planned and implemented the program.

Remembrance Day Service

This morning our boys attended the annual Remembrance Day service in the Prep Hall.  All boys, from Preschool to Year 6 attended and I am so proud of the way they recognised the importance of the occasion and the respect that such an event requires.  They were exemplary in their conduct.

The Southport School is one which is very connected to its own, and wider Australian, history and traditions and the boys love developing an appreciation of this.  They are particularly engaged with the stories of our Old Boys and the service and sacrifice they gave so that we can enjoy living in such an amazing country.  They listen attentively to the stories of the Remembrance Day symbols, the story of the poppy, the ode and the bugle.   They sing with pride our National Anthem and reflect on the words expressed in the prayers of thanks given to those who gave up their lives.

Congratulations to our Camarata Singers for their beautiful and moving renditions of the included songs, hymns and in particular ‘In Flanders Field’.  Thanks to the instrumental staff and senior school students for their musical support and to the members of our Cadet Honour Guard and Mr Sten for their involvement.

It really was a great ceremony.

Chess Success

Chess is a very popular activity at TSS Preparatory School.   Many boys enjoy learning the game and of course, when able, enjoy competing against other schools or in formal tournaments.

We have seen many exceptional players emerge over the years and I’m pleased to be able to add the names of two more to the honour roll of ‘Chess masters’.

The GPS Chess competition is always hotly contested, so congratulations to Leo Kang for being the top point scorer in GPS Chess this year and Luke Hu, who was named most improved player across the GPS season.

A great effort by both boys.

Year 2 Strings Concert

This week I enjoyed attending the Year 2 strings program concert.  TSS is quite unique in conducting its string program in Year 2, with many schools waiting until at least Year 3 to introduce all students to the learning of an instrument.   But our boys do really well.  From screechy, squawky, tentative beginnings a real quality sound develops and we certainly heard that this week.

For parents this means really supporting the boys and keeping them on track.  And this is easier said than done, so we appreciate the dedication that parents show in helping their son’s prioritise practice.

The focus and precision with which the boys performed each piece was quite impressive and so I thank our instrumental string teachers, led by Mr Nick Stefan, for the great work they do with the boys.

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