16 October 2017

Dear Parents,

This is our last Thistle newsletter for the year. After 37 weeks we have this week and the two days of next week before the end of the academic year when, at Speech Night, we march out and farewell the Year 8 boys out under their new Senor School House banners

This Friday we have the last Middle School Assembly known as our Book Awards Assembly. Here we acknowledge a number of boys in each year group for their sustained enthusiasm, effort, commitment to learning and appreciation for the opportunities, support and nurturing they have enjoyed and reciprocated with over the year. This Assembly will be held in the Dickinson Centre and commence at 11am.

As we finish this year we are also looking ahead at next year. Orientation Day for our 2016 Year 6 & 7 students occurred today, Monday 30th, whilst our current Year 8's, (2016 Year 9's) completed their orientation day in Senior School. For both groups it was a reminder just how useful the Student Parent Handbook is. The Middle School Parent Handbooks for 2016 are now available on Parent Connect within the Middle School portal.

Second semester academic reports are in the final stages of completion and will be mailed out to parents on Tuesday 8th December. For students in Year 6, 7 & 8 next year, 2016 class lists will also be included in this mail out.

Our final photos feature two off campus events from last week. The Year 8 Boarders, pictured here at Canning Bridge in the Helena Valley, completed another 85km of their Bib Track walk. Unfortunately bushfires prevented them from finishing as planned this time so there is some catch up to be done next year.

Middle School triathlon boys competed in the Sunsmart Narrogin Triathlon organised by the Narrogin Primary School P&C over the weekend. The boys also enjoyed some fantastic farm hospitality courtesy of Daniel Weise's family.

Middle School Staff Movement.

At the end of the term we farewell Ms Schorer 7S and Ms Kotai 8K, both off on 12 months Maternity Leave. We wish them the very best as they step into the wonderful world of parenthood for the first time. I will keep you posted if their announcements in early February are tinged with pink or blue. Also leaving will be our Education Assistants Mr Seth Green and Ms Victoria Watson who have both concluded their studies and graduated with teaching degrees this semester. We wish them all the best as they start their exciting and very rewarding teaching career. Mrs Lucinda Hill our Art Technician will also be leaving at the end of the year, albeit temporarily. Mrs Hill will return in Autumn Term for 6 months when Ms Walden goes on her Maternity Leave. Commencing in Summer Term 2016, Mr Rowan Knight moves from Middle School Academic Support to Senior School Academic Support.

Next term we welcome Mr Justin Shaw to Middle School as a Year 6 teacher, Mr Shaw is currently a teacher and Year Coordinator at John Septimus Roe College in Mirrabooka. Mr Bycroft joins us as a Year 8 English and Humanities teacher. Mr Bycroft currently teaches in Senior School. Mrs Vicki Enfield-Kirk joins Middle School as an Academic Support teacher. Mrs Enfield-Kirk currently teaches in Senor School.

Finally, to the parents I will not get to see at Speech Night; thank you. Thank you for your support, advice, encouragement, patience and presence this year. Teaching a student or a class is not a singular activity; it requires the choreographed efforts of dozens of people. The parent body works behind the scenes in a myriad of roles: as motivators, cajolers, explainers and organisers, drivers, teacher assistants, uniform, lunchbox, musical instrument and sporting gear coordinators. You pick boys up when they are down and you rein them in when they aren't where they need to be. You do all of the above, sometimes every day. Thank you. We are nowhere without you.

Enjoy a happy and safe Christmas and New Year.

Mr Richard Ledger

Head of Middle School