Deputy Headmaster and Head of Preparatory School

Congratulations to Friends of Prep

My genuine congratulations and thanks to our amazing Friends of Prep Executive and Committee for the hugely successful Mother’s Day High Tea held last Friday at The Star – Jupiter’s Casino.  Over 460 people attended to help celebrate the day and to share in each other’s company.

As this is one of the most eagerly awaited events on the TSS calendar, there is always a degree of pressure on the FOP committee to make it special.

While I wasn’t able to be there this year, from all reports it sounds like the 2017 committee did a great job. Certainly the photos I have seen look amazing. The venue was a very fitting backdrop in which to celebrate all of the amazing women that support our boys, and the happy faces attest to the fact that all who attended had a great time.  The fashion show which is always a highlight was a great success with both the professional models and our own TSS Prep boys being very well received by the audience and the Art Auction featuring a compilation of the boys artwork was a hotly contested part of the morning, with some lucky families snapping up an original piece from one of the year levels.

Of course special thanks to FOP joint Presidents Emily Folwell and Linda Quinn (also Treasurer), and Secretary – Louise Heathwood  for all of their hard work leading up to, and including, the morning.  Thanks also to FOP committee members , Jacqui Lewis, Moraya Wilson, Belinda Gwynne and Sarah Corbett for all of their hard work and support.   Great support was provided by volunteers Cameron Wilson, Tegan Glass, Helen Heanen, Lizzy Tanner, Karen Aronis, Amanda Fay and Gill Lawrence.

I give thanks to Ms Mathias and Mrs Kruger for their work with the boys on their musical performances which I know were a highlight and to Moraya Wilson and  Julie Stansby for the entertaining video presentation. The boys talking about their mums is always a good laugh and at the same time very touching and details about how you can purchase this video will be made available soon.  I would also like to acknowledge staff Marisa Schroder, Kerrie Anderson, Karen Capper, Jodie Bradbury, Leesa Dolan, Jenny Yorath, Robert Baker, Mark Wyer and Hans Duyck for all they contributed to ensure the morning ran smoothly.

Tiaga and Cody Corbett (ex-Prep now Senior School boys) performed as special guests and the talents were appreciated by all.

Thanks also to our generous sponsors, especially the Major Sponsors: Ramsden Lawyers, Lucy Cole Prestige Properties, Calleija, BP Johnston St, The Layt Clinic, Ginger & Smart and Reel Management.

The committee tell me that around $40,000 was raised which will be put to great use in enhancing the facilities of the school and perhaps more importantly – lots of new friendships were launched.

To all members of the TSS (and wider) community who attended thank you for supporting our wonderful Friends of Prep.

Parenting the in-between years

Parents often worry about navigating the toddler and teenage years, anticipating that as new parents the toddler years will be full of uncertainty and the teenage years will be challenging with its massive physical and emotional changes that will test their patience, but there is a third stage in a child’s development which can be quite testing on parenting skills – ‘tween-age’, those years between 8 and 12.

This period of a child’s life covers the bridge between childhood and adolescence and while we focus on congratulating ourselves for getting through the toddler years and look fearfully towards managing a teenager, we can overlook this very important ‘in between’ period.

Michael Grose, our parenting expert points out that the problems we deal with when raising toddlers – sleep, obstinence, eating and separation worries, can pale into insignificance when faced with the ‘tween’ issues of social media, bullying, friendship issues and puberty.  During these years children mature at very different rates and this can impact dramatically on how they see themselves.

He stresses the importance of staying connected to your ‘tween-ager’ and gives five ideas to help with this:-

  1. Spend real and close time together.
  2. Allow them to have two faces.
  3. Create the path for greater independence.
  4. Explain the changes that are going on.
  5. Remember, it’s not personal.

Intrigued?  Then read more about what these five hints look like by clicking here to open Michael’s full article.

Under 8s week

Under Eight’s week is held annually throughout Queensland.  It is an opportunity to give you children a forum to shine and to enhance the community’s awareness of the rich and competent contribution young children make to their local community.

The theme of Under Eight’s Week this year is, ‘Children are playing Country to Coast – Inspiring learning in the early years through play’.

To celebrate this occasion TSS Preparatory will be offering a diverse range of interactive activities on Friday 26 May (9.00am-11.00am) in which the boys in Reception and Year 1 can participate. These will include storytelling, beach games, creative art, role play, cultural dancing and construction.  All of which stimulate creativity, inquiry and self- expression.

Fidget Spinners

There has been lots of talk about Fidget Spinners of late with some schools banning them and others taking a wait and see approach.  Here at TSS Prep we have permitted each group of teachers to make a decision on the boys having these based upon the behaviour of the boys in their year level with them.   The discussion with the boys has centered on them being sensible and responsible with the devices as they can be fun to play with and at break times the boys have enjoyed challenging each other to demonstrations of superior skills.

However, some year levels have decided that the devices are more a distraction than beneficial and so have requested boys keep them at home.

The Fidget Spinners follow past devices like stress balls and fidget clickers and like these, their time will pass and the boys will find a new ‘craze’ to entertain them and keep their parents spending.  Rather than a medical device, they are basically a toy and the boys engage with them in this way.

There is a school of thought, however, which says that children who have trouble regulating their emotions (anxiety) or suffer from an inability to concentrate for appropriate periods of time can benefit from some form of manipulative device.  There are a range of therapies which employ such an approach with varying degrees of success from individual to individual.

Conversely, there are other researchers who hold the view that for those who struggle with attention and concentration, providing them with a device that provides constant stimulation actually makes the problem worse and removes any possibility of these children developing the ability to focus and remain on task without a distracting device.

Which view is right?  Probably elements of both and at the end of the day all such therapies need to be considered from the perspective of the individual circumstances.  As a toy – as long as the boys are playing positively with them they are pretty harmless.  When they begin to get in the way of class activities, or if they cause conflict between the boys (trades/purchases gone wrong etc) the year level teachers will ban them.

The US mother who invented the fidget spinner for her daughter is perhaps the saddest person at how successful the craze has become world-wide.  She couldn’t afford the cost of the patent and so has not benefited financially from her creativity at all.


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