From the Acting Head of Junior School

What a marvellous term we have all shared!
It only feels like yesterday that we welcomed in the new school year, with new school shoes and uniforms, books, classrooms, new friends and students, new teachers – where did the last 10 weeks go? As we approach the holiday season, take some time to look back and reflect upon all that has been achieved. This sense of gratitude has been shown to have tremendous boosting effects, especially when we express our gratitude to others for things they have done that have assisted us. This might be a chance to practice some simple gratitude to someone who has supported you or your children.

On behalf of Mrs Libby Russell, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to the children in the school, for the manner in which they have engaged with their learning journey. We would like to express our gratitude to the parents for giving their children the opportunity to participate in a Carey education, and for supporting their learning journey so positively and authentically this term. We would like to say thanks to the JSPA and the many parents who have given their time, energy and drive this term to undertake events for the children – you are a lovely group of parents, and the staff genuinely appreciate your commitment to helping the children. And finally, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to the staff of the Junior School who have guided and nurtured your children this term – you are a remarkable community of staff who are always working to give your best to the school.

Please travel safely this holiday break, and enjoy a change of pace and focus. We all look forward to sharing some stories of the adventures when we return next term. However, here is a holiday challenge for you to consider…

Turn off, to tune in – being present this holiday break: a digital detox
One fascination I have with our modern-day way of life is the over reliance upon technology and how we have come to interact with it – almost without thinking. It has become an intrusive requirement of how we operate as social people, and for many of us it has become a default behaviour and habit. There is a growing level of concern about how much screen time our children are engaging with, and research is suggesting that primary aged school children are spending more than five hours per day – that equates for more than 100 hours this holiday break! Doesn’t it make you wonder what we did before ‘social’ media?

So, this holiday I have made a pledge to turn off, to tune in to my children and family more – I’m consciously going to switch off email, text messages, Instagram, Facebook, Internet, TV, movies and mobile phone, so that I can get back to some more meaningful moments as a family. As part of this, I’m laying down a challenge to us all as parents – are you able to do the same, to maximise the time you are spending with your children?

Here are a few tips that might help:

  • Buy a newspaper and read it together, get some ink on your fingers and discuss some of the articles together – it is a wonderful conversation starter.
  • Visit the local library and borrow a few classic books, and choose one to read as a family book, a chapter or two each day.
  • Get to a hobby shop and buy a model car or airplane, and spend time painting, constructing and finishing a scale model.
  • Pump up the bike tyres and set a plan to ride to the shops, along some of our beautiful bike paths.
  • Get out a recipe book, choose something different, shop for the ingredients and cook together one afternoon – and sit down to eat as a family.
  • Sleep out in a tent in the back garden, listen to the crickets, chat in the dark, and listen to the rain on the tent, what a magical experience.
  • Jump on the train and spend a day in the city, pack a back-pack lunch and water bottle and see if you can get through the outing without spending a cent.
  • Get out the paint brushes and a canvas and have a go at painting a self-portrait, sculpt with some clay or plasticine.
  • Book in and take a surfing lesson, horse riding, or skydiving – try something radically different.
  • Get out some old records and play them to the children – there are so many amazing artists – and listen to the record from start to finish.
  • Hike in the bush – there is a beautiful walk to Murrindini that takes you to a waterfall – and it costs nothing but your time and energy.
  • Get out your family photo album, leave it on the coffee table, and share the stories with the children, let them see inside your memories – a great conversation starter indeed.
  • And one of my favorites – a jigsaw puzzle, board game, Lego, Uno or chess – something you can start and come back to tomorrow.

Celebrating Art and Design
Each year the Year 6 children are challenged to design the logo for the Year 6 Jacket. This process is undertaken in the Art program and is the culmination of several years of understanding the design process that is taught in Art. The children then enter their designs, and the Year 6 children and staff then vote as a community to choose the winning design. Congratulations this year to Abby T who was the successful designer – her logo will now adorn the Year 6 jackets that we will see next term.

Some Key term dates for your planning at the start of Term 2:

Wednesday 19 April – School Commences for all children.

Friday 21 April – ANZAC Assembly – Metcalfe Hall 2.30pm – parents welcome.

Friday 28 April – Cross Country (Year 3 – 6 students at Bulleen 10.30am – 1.00pm) (Prep – Year 2 students on Cluny Green from 1.45–3.00pm) – parents welcome.

Tuesday 2 May – Reading Comprehension Parent Information Session Year 3-6 parents, Evans Library 7.00pm.

Friday 5 May – House Chapel Service – Arnold and Penman – William Carey Chapel 1.45pm – parents welcome.

Friday 12 May – Mothers Day Assembly – Metcalfe Hall 2.30pm – parents welcome.

Friday 19 May – House Chapel Service – Barton and Chisholm – William Carey Chapel 1.45pm – parents welcome.

Ben Dooley
Acting Head of Junior School Kew
ben.dooley@carey.com.au