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The new year of learning within our Junior School has commenced with excitement but also a sense of peace. This tone was set from day one. As I visited classrooms, students were engaged in experiences intentionally orienting them to their new learning environment and year level. Important connections were being built with peers and teachers. Routines and expectations were being rehearsed and understood to ensure learning opportunities in days, weeks and months to come could be maximised. This initial tone has only been built upon and enhanced in the days that have followed. I commend all staff for their thought, effort and collaboration when planning for the start of the school year. Thank you for your role in preparing your sons for the start of the school year. All of the organising, reading of communications, understanding new routines and working out where everyone needs to be. Thank you for connecting with your son’s learning this term through the Curriculum Overviews shared last week and attending Parent Information Evenings. Your boys thrive when we work in partnership.

A new year provides time to look towards new opportunities and back to what has been. I am reminded of the Roman god Janus – who provides the etymological origins of the month of January. He is said to have overseen transitions, pathways, entrances and exits. He has two faces, being able to look forwards and backwards without turning his head. I had the opportunity to share about Janus with our Junior School Staff as we met together in January. We spent time reflecting on the year that had been and looking forward to the year of learning ahead. This year in the Junior School we are in the process of implementing Version 9 of the Australian Curriculum. Significant time as been spent in Year Level Teams and Specialist Teaching Teams understanding the revised curriculum and planning for engaging and meaningful learning experiences across the year. We also reflected on what excellence looks like in our learning and how we can intentionally scaffold and support students in this pursuit.

As I have commenced this new role, it has been a real pleasure to meet so many of you at different events or outside Palm House or in the Avenues of a morning. It is such a privilege to be able to see the learning across our school community each day. If you would like to discuss anything related to teaching and learning, please feel free to email me or come into school as my door is always open.

Christopher Sanders
Deputy Head of Junior School – Teaching and Learning