Mr Jeff Symms, Deputy Headmaster – Head of Preparatory
The end of Term came a little earlier than expected courtesy of the rapid onset of the Covid-19 Brisbane cluster, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that across the Term we saw great progress across many domains.
This year saw a refocus on our pastoral values. Mr Powys – Deputy Head of Preparatory School has led the teachers and boys in a restatement of our core values and summarised them under the three overarching themes of Teamwork, Scholarship and Service. The boys have spoken about these values during class and focused on them during assemblies and chapel services. They have lived them out in the classroom and the playground and along the way collected Vivo points that will see them rewarded with Bronze, Silver and Gold Certificates for outstanding commitment to the TSS way.
There has been a noticeable shift in the boys attention to their engagement with others and their focus in class. While it is early days, I am so encouraged by the way the boys have embraced the concept of being ‘in the TSS circle’ and I’m looking forward to the further development of this thinking.
Academically much has gone well too. The boys continue to develop their core literacy skills, with writing through the Big Write program having been a big focus for Term One. Each week on a Thursday morning, every boy across the school sits down to write and then share their work with others. I have had many visits to the office with boys who have been excited to share their growing prowess and their creativity is really impressive. The poetry recitations across the school were great to listen to also. While for some boys, public speaking is a real challenge, yet the opportunity to practice these skills is an ever-increasingly important one. So it is terrific to see the boys step up and give it their best. And it is great to see the genre of Poetry gaining some prominence.
The boys have enjoyed their Lego Robotics, Physical Education, Visual Art, Music and LOTE lessons. Weekend sport is always a highlight and teaches the boys so much more than just the physical skills – teamwork, mateship, co-operation and leadership. The boys have also enjoyed being able to participate again in their musical ensembles and choirs with a view to performing in concerts, an activity they missed last year during Covid-19 restrictions.
It’s been a busy Term and I hope that the boys get a chance to refresh and recharge, and that all families get to enjoy some together time over the Easter break.
I look forward to seeing the boys again on April 19 when school resumes. Remember that there is no student-free day at the beginning of next term due to it being moved to this week to accommodate the early Covid-19 closure.
This week we celebrated the book launch of former student Hrithik Ramachandra. Hrithik progressed through our Honours Program before relocating to a new secondary school this year, but while here developed a real passion for the stock market and investing. So much so that he has written a book that helps young beginners navigate their way through this process.
Hrithik shared with the boys, parents and assembled staff the process he went through in writing his book;- from initial dream to the publication and also talked about his website that helps other young authors to publish their work.
He has sold over 1000 copies to date and many of the assembled audience at the book launch purchased a copy of the book, which Hrithik was more than happy to sign, on the day.
The end of this term saw us say farewell to two staff.
Mr Matthew Morrison who joined us at the start of the year decided to return to his family in New South Wales. I wish him all the best for his future endeavours.
Mrs Lynda Darby, our Arrowsmith Co-ordinator and teacher, is relocating to the Sunshine Coast with her husband. Mrs Darby is an exceptional educator who threw her heart and soul into the establishment of our Arrowsmith program and over the past five years has demonstrated outstanding pastoral care towards all of her students. Her dedication and commitment to the holistic development of each boy has been quite inspirational and we couldn’t have asked for a more qualified and talented teacher to implement the program.
I wish Lynda and husband LLoyd all the best for their move and new opportunities.
We welcome Mr James Oxenford to our team. Mr Oxenford will take over the Year 3 class previously taught by Mr Morrison. Mr Oxenford is known to many in the TSS community as he has previously coached in our Rugby program and he has worked with our Year 6 boys during his professional experience as part of his degree.
Most recently Mr Oxenford has worked at a specialist boys’ school, dedicated to re-engaging boys who have had difficulty with main stream schooling. This dedication to the education of boys, that led him to chose to work with those who are most vulnerable is admirable and has also provided him with an opportunity to really develop a deep understanding of what makes boys tick. I look forward to his contribution to our school.
Mrs Holly Nixon has accepted the position of Arrowsmith Co-ordinator and she will move from her role in our learning support department. Mrs Nixon is known for her exceptional pastoral approach which enables her to make genuine connections with the boys. Having worked alongside Mrs Darby in our Arrowsmith program for some time now, she is very well placed to support the boys with their ongoing program. We are lucky that we have such depth within our school staff.
The boys in Year 3G participated in an Escape Room challenge this week to consolidate their term unit of Mathematics. They were challenged to solve 10 problems, some with multiple steps, in order to find the 10 digit code which would enable them to escape the room.
There was no need real need for torches although to add to the atmosphere, the lights were turned off, but for boys, torches always add to the fun! They had a really great time solving the problems to work out the code!
Just to notify parents that registrations are now open for boys to undertake the Honours Assessment program. Information about the Honours (academic accelerant program) can be found on the school’s website and registration is done via the ‘Admissions’ tab on the website and then ‘Scholarships’ tab.
The timeline for the entire process can also be sourced. Registrations close on May 27.
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