27 November 2017

Head of Junior School

The first semester of the school year has finished with a flurry. Teachers have been busily composing the boys' Semester 1 reports as the business of the School continues. A number of special events have highlighted the wonderful qualities of our boys and challenged them to consider others, do the right thing and to venture out of their comfort zones.

I challenged our new Semester 1 Captains to be trailblazers this year. As the first group of Junior School leaders they had to set the scene for leadership in the School. They all met this challenge head on. Not only did they embrace their new positions, each put in a special effort to ensure they left a lasting mark on the role, with initiatives or ideas the next groups of captains could follow.

The House Captains wrote the new House war cries that are now proudly sung at Friday class assemblies. They assisted in the development of House spirit by leading their Houses as they cheered on the housemates at Inter-House swimming and cross-country. Our Chapel Captain, Fraser Davies, brilliantly assisted in all Chapel services and capably stood in for Revered Wright. Our Visual Arts Captain, Finn Lawson, spoke proudly about the Arts and prompted the boys with his pop up art that decorated our playground over the semester. Max Avon-Smith reminded the boys regularly about how they can look after our local environment and his package-free lunch day was a huge success. Our Sport Captain, Edward Allan, kept the boys well informed about the upcoming sporting events and demonstrated fine leadership on the sporting fields. Declan Reilly, our Performing Arts Captain, created a brilliant initiative to raise money for research into a cure for multiple sclerosis. His Practisathon challenged the boys to get sponsors for practicing their sport, instrument or reading skills. The school community responded and were able to raise an amazing $3499.75. And finally, our Junior School Captain, Ben Chapman, spoke very well at a number of events and led the Junior School and the other Captains brilliantly. I want to thank all of the Captains for the wonderful job they have done and for being outstanding ambassadors for our school.

This week we held our second lot of speeches as we elected our Semester 2 Captains. The boys all had to be risk-takers as they stood in front of the school community and delivered their speech about why they would be the best representatives for a range of captaincies. The boys had a very difficult decision to make, as all of the candidates present excellent arguments for why they deserved to be considered as a Junior School Captains. The new Captains will be commissioned on Friday of Week 1 in the Winter Term.

Our Year 5 boys composed speeches that they presented in class. The top 11 speakers from the two Year 5 classes competed in the Junior School's first Speakers Challenge. The quality of the speeches were outstanding. The boys presented them beautifully and with poise. Their topics engaged their audience, made them laugh and informed them. I was surprised with the talent and confidence with which they spoke. The judges had a very difficult task in selecting our top four finishers. Well done to William Gagen and Matthew Kerfoot who finished in tied third place. In second was Fraser Davies who spoke about Banning Big Brothers and our champion was Jacob Lewis who spoke about his Five Favourite Elements. Fraser and Jacob went on to represent the College in the IPSHA Inter-School Speakers challenge, earning bronze medals.

The final showcase for our boys to shine was the Mid-Year Junior School and Middle School Concert. Boys from Year 3 to 7 sang, danced, played and stunned the audience with their talents. The night was magical with outstanding performances from all the talented musicians and vocalists.

The semester has had may highlights. The opportunities for our boys to shine and to challenge themselves have been special. I thank them for their risk-taking attitudes and willingness to embrace new opportunities. As always, they do not fail us with their skills, positive attitude and wonderful natures. I wish all boys, staff and families a well-deserved rest and I look forward to the challenges of the new semester.

John Stewart

Head of Junior School