Deputy Headmaster and Head of Preparatory School

Mr Jeff Symms

Preparatory Round Square Boys serve the community again

Our Prep School Round Square boys are always busy working through the many programs they have to support others here in our own community and out in the wider world.  Most recently, Mr Trevethan and Miss Chapman escorted some of the boys to the Cerebral Palsy League in Southport for a visit.

The boys spent time interacting and engaging with the attendees of the centre and it was actually very inspiring to witness the care they took to ensure that the visit was enjoyable for all.

As Mr Trevethan reported, ‘It was wonderful to see Sid Bradnam reading the ‘Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly’ to a profoundly disabled young woman who was completely non-verbal, yet loved hearing her favourite story read out loud.  It was just as impressive to watch Ethan Melton playing guitar, (that only had three strings), to another wheel chair bound, bound-verbal young person. But the clincher for me, was when five or six of our boys started painting pictures with the clients of CPL, without being asked.  They just jumped in and enjoyed spending their time with people who couldn’t communicate back to them in words, but clearly communicated their enjoyment and appreciation.’

Tom McClintock played the piano for them and all boys represented themselves, their school and their families to the highest degree.

We all couldn’t be more proud of them and of the way our entire TSS Preparatory School Community support others who experience daily challenges in their lives.

Friends of Preparatory School Christmas Carols

As mentioned in previous newsletters the FOP committee are hard at work putting together this year’s Christmas Carols event.  As numbers have increased year by year, the carols will be held on the oval for the first time.  This permits the selling of more tickets, however, numbers will still be limited and so it will be wise to purchase tickets early to avoid disappointment.  Tickets will go on sale very soon and so keep an eye on the newsletter and Prepbook for information about how to get yours.

It will be another amazing FOP event and in advance I thank the committee for their great work.

Traffic Changes this week and early next

Previously we advised of some changes to the access to the new school carpark during civil works for the new Preparatory Hall.

We have been advised that these will commence

Works will commence on Thursday of this week and continue through Friday, over the weekend and into Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.

Traffic management staff will be on site to assist parents with accessing the carpark, with the major change being the entry from Lupus Street being made through the ’emergency exit’ usually blocked with the yellow bollards.

Please follow the directions of the traffic management officers and exercise patience and I’m sure the traffic will flow reasonably well.

I have attached a map of the changes to this newsletter for your information – Traffic Flow map for October

Year three Sleep over

The annual Year 3 sleepover at the Senior School is rapidly approaching.  The boys have a great time and I know they are eagerly looking forward to it.  The Year 3 sleepover is the start of the boys Outdoor Education program which runs each year throughout the rest of their schooling and as such is an important opportunity for the boys to dip their toes into the world of independence.’

I look forward to them having a great night.  Thanks to the Year 3 teachers for their organisation of this event.

End of Year Important Dates

There are many important dates coming up very quickly. With only a few short weeks now till the end of the school year, it is a good idea to enter these dates into your calendars.  Preparations are well under way for each event and I know we will have a busy, but enjoyable finish to the year.

Friday November 17:-    Presentation Assembly for Years 3-6. 12.00pm Pearce Theatre

Monday November 20:-  Preschool Christmas Concert. 10.00am. Pearce Theatre

Tuesday November 21:-   Celebration of Achievement Years Reception – Year 2.  Annand Theatre. 9.00am

Wednesday November 22:-  Celebration of Achievement Years 3-6.  Annand Theatre. 9.00am

Wednesday November 22:- Year 6 Gradual Service.  Chapel of St Alban. 6.30pm

Thursday November 23:-      Reception to Yea 6  Christmas Chapel.  Pearce Theatre. 9.00am

Thursday November 23:-      Year 6 Final Assembly and Honour Guard.  Pearce Theatre. 1.00pm.

Class placements for 2018

The placing of boys into classes each year is a very big job and the teachers and the school’s executive spend a great deal of time on building class lists.  At this time of year I start to get some enquiry as to the possibility of parents requesting particular teachers for their son.

It is important for parents to appreciate that it is not possible to accept specific class placement requests.  All of our teachers are dedicated and hard working and highly skilled and will provide an excellent education for your son.

I sometimes get the comment that:- “I know that lots of parents have requested a class for their son, so I thought I should too..”.  In fact, each year I receive very, very few requests regarding class placements and these are normally due to a very significant reason that it is valuable to be aware of.

Reasons such as:-

  1. My son needs to be with his best friend.
  2. I am good friends with (insert name’s) mother and it would be great if we could be in the same class.
  3. Our older son was taught by this teacher.
  4. Our friends told us (insert Teacher’s name), is the best teacher and so we want him/her for our son.
  5. (Teacher’s) classroom is closest to the carpark so it will be easier to drop off and pick up,

and so on, are generally not valid reasons for class placements.  For example;- Perhaps your son doesn’t work well in class with his best friend and so is better keeping the friendship for the playground.  Perhaps, as your boys are different people, the same teacher may not be the best choice for both.  As a school, we look at many different factors before making placement decisions and given our experience and knowledge of the boys – in the school setting, we will have access to the ‘big picture’.

I ask that parents place trust in the school’s staff to make good decisions for their son’s placement and demonstrate confidence in their son’s capability to adjust to a new teacher, new routines and new classmates.

There are times, however, where some information that a parents holds is very relevant to the class placement and if this is the case then parents can, in writing, provide this information to me to assist in the class placement decision.  This information MUST be in writing – letter or email is OK, and must be received by me no later than Friday, November 10.  Conversations with teachers do not count and cannot be considered.

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