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I extend a very warm welcome to all our Middle Years boys and families to the 2018 school year. Whether you are continuing at Saints or commencing your journey this year, I am very much looking forward to working in partnership with you to support your son through their Middle Years journey. After a thorough transition program we trust that the boys are ready to hit the ground running in 2018. If families need any support, at any time, we encourage you to make contact with your son’s mentor who will either provide the assistance required or direct you to the appropriate contact. We very much understand that the beginning of the school year can be a time of uncertainty or apprehension for some boys, and we are committed to working in partnership with you to ensure that your son feels safe, welcome, informed and connected.

Co-curricular program

The Year 7 and 8 boys have made an excellent start to the year, immersing themselves in the learning program and co-curricular activities. All boys took part in swimming trials in Week 1. This can be a real challenge for many boys, especially those who are new and not particularly strong swimmers. One of the great outcomes of this activity is witnessing how the boys band together to support their mates, regardless of swimming prowess. The activity brings boys together, takes them out of their comfort zone, builds resilience and fosters relationships. Participation was very strong and I congratulate all boys.

Throughout Week 2 the Year 8 boys attended our Finniss site for their Outdoor Education lead-in days. Here they practised a range of skills they will use as part of the program later in Semester 1. Our Year 7 boys undertake their lead-in program in Week 3. I’d like to thank all the Outdoor Education team, as well as the Middle Years mentors and Year Level Coordinators, for the time they put into preparing this program.

The Term 1 Sports program launches this week, with most Middle Years boys training after school on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Boys are reminded to be prompt for training and ensure they bring with them all the necessary uniforms and equipment. A reminder that the sports bag storage room is opened every morning at 8.25am and opened again after School.

Homework

The Senior School Homework Policy is available for viewing on Keystone. The policy outlines our beliefs about the benefits of homework and I invite you to contact mentors, subject teachers or the Learning and Teaching Office if you have any queries about the expectations.  As a general rule, boys in Year 7 are expected to complete 75 minutes of homework per night, and Year 8s should complete 90 minutes. A homework timetable has been constructed for each class to support this important aspect of your son’s learning.

Absence, late arrivals, early departures

A reminder to parents of Middle Years boys that all communication with boys throughout the School day should be made via the Senior School Office. The staff in the office are best placed to quickly locate and contact all Middle Years boys when necessary. Often Year 7 and 8 boys will not be found in their Mentor Classes, so inquiries about boys are always best done through the Senior School Office. In this way parents are saved the trouble of locating their son, the learning program is able to continue without interruption and staff are not required to leave classes or work stations to meet inquiries they are often unable to assist with. The cooperation of parents in this regard is greatly appreciated.

James Tamblyn, Head of Middle Years