18 June 2018

Head of Junior School

Old Shoes

Old shoes are comfortable. They have stretched and moulded to fit our feet and usually fit like a nice pair of socks. New shoes however, while looking great, take a bit of getting used to. They may chafe a bit, cause a blister or two but over time they become comfortable. One eventually forgets the breaking in period and the discomfort they felt.

New shoes are like managing change or starting in a new school or a new class. Our boys were all very confortable in their classes and schools last year. They began this term in a new setting and have had to manage the breaking in period. While many of our boys did have new haircuts and new shoes that actually did need some breaking in, they have quickly become comfortable with their new teachers and their expectations.

I have been very impressed with the mutuality our Year 1 friends have shown in their first few week with us. They have separated bravely from their parents and settled in their new school. All of our new boys have made new friends and seem as comfortable here as an old pair of shoes.

2014 will be a year that sees the Junior School implement some significant programmes aimed at raising the attainment of our boys. The Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation Programme (VCOP) will develop the boys' use of these key areas of writing, in a structure that will have significant impact on their skills. Our oral mental mathematics programme will engage the boys in daily oral activities that will consolidate their number skills and assist in developing efficiency when applying these skills to problem solving and other learning/mathematics activities. These two significant programmes will support the learning across the School and reflect best teaching practices that are espoused by the Primary Years Programme.

Over the course of the summer a great deal of work has been done to ready the College for the start of 2014. The work that has been done in the Junior School is greatly appreciated. New Interactive Whiteboards and televisions have been put up in the classrooms and learning spaces. New furniture and display boards have been added to classrooms, and considerable upgrades have been made to the Junior School Playground. I wish to thank all who have been involved in the improvements made to our school over the summer. I also want to thank the teachers and education assistants for their efforts in making the classrooms such wonderful learning spaces.

Like an old pair of shoes, we comfortably move on with our task in 2014. I am looking forward to engaging with parents and the wider community as we face the challenges and successes of 2014.

John Stewart

Head of Junior School