From the Deputy Head of Junior School

Reading Comprehension information session
Reading must just about be one of the most marvellous gifts we have been given. Do you ever think about some of the amazing words that you’ve interpreted and synthesised, and the meaning they have given to you? A birthday card from your children, an invitation, an essay question, travel instructions, the results of something important, a recipe, amazing books, music notation, this excellent newsletter – the list is endless.

This week saw a small, yet enthusiastic group of parents attending the Reading Comprehension evening in the Junior School, where the focus was on how parents can best assist their children in developing deep understanding and, importantly, how we as adults can assist our children to enjoy reading as much as we do. If you attended, please feel free to spread the word to the wider community that these evenings, held by experts, are not to be missed. In fact, the evening presents so much more for us as parents in developing a closer more meaningful relationship with our children.

If you do nothing else this week with your child, try to spend some time reading to them and with them – share your thinking and engage in a story together. Open up and discuss something of meaning from the newspaper, read a magazine together, share a picture story book, chapter book, or novel. If you need some guidance, pop in and have a discussion with the Library team who are more than happy to discuss potential titles that might be just right for your children.

I would like to acknowledge the professionalism, energy and expertise that the staff gave to this evening, to share some of the successful strategies that are vital for developing success in reading.

Junior School House Cross Country
Last Friday’s two Junior School House Cross Country events were a wonderful showcase of courage, effort, persistence, grit and, the importance of our community coming together. After several weeks of preparation and focus in Physical Education lessons, the children seemed primed for a day of effort and engagement. The changed format allowed the entire Junior School community to celebrate the younger student’s efforts, and to share in the announcement of the winning House in the afternoon. Importantly, this dual staged event was witnessed by a large parent contingent, creating the relaxed carnival atmosphere on Cluny Green and, in turn, reinforcing all that is important at these House Carnival events – learning by doing and participation.

Along with the many outstanding efforts displayed by the students were the priceless moments shared by both the older and younger buddies after the finishes of the Year Prep to Year 2 events. One parent I reflected with, recounted that while the race itself was enjoyable and challenging, the level of comradery that was displayed by their Year 1 son was the memory that will stay forever – he was joined by his friends to celebrate finishing and crossing the line, supported by his older buddy and the Head of House staff member. Often, we don’t take the time to see the little moments within the day, but this is a marvelous example of ‘hunting the good stuff’, of finding gratitude and positive emotion in the moments of the day, which in turn build great joy in our lives. I am sure that the day will be a memory for the children, long after the best numeracy class, or literacy lesson, they’ll remember the day that they ran so hard in the House Cross Country around the school.

Congratulations to the students in Years 4 to Year 6 who qualified for the Carey Cross Country Team, and a big congratulations to Dunlop House who won the overall Cross Country Competition.

And finally, our gratitude to Mrs Jackson and Mr Ingles, and the many staff who were assisting on the day, for the manner in which they have led, and created opportunities for the children to be challenged and to be taken out of their comfort zones in running the Cross Country for their House. 

CERES Excursion Year 4
The Year 4 children travelled to CERES community environment park to work closely with some environmental experts to find out more about gardening, Indigenous story telling, land care, and bush tucker foods. For those of you who are not as familiar with CERES, it is a centre for education and research in environmental strategies, established in 1982, located on 4.5 hectares on the Merri Creek in East Brunswick. CERES is a place where people come together to share ideas about living well together, and directly participate in meeting their social and material needs in a sustainable way. This was an important opportunity for the three Year 4 classes to build upon their understanding developed in the Year 3 Kitchen and Garden program last year, and clearly the children were passionate and knowledgeable when it came to understanding the aspects of sustainability in the garden.

Did you know that you can keep aphids at bay with a spray that is one part milk to 9 parts water – which breaks down naturally, yet suffocates those pesky aphids – try it and see!

One theme was clear, that these young environmentalists have the capacity and appetite for environmental change. One group was able to clearly identify the link between the treatment of the soil and the quality of the food we eat, and just how important land care is to our future.

This was a marvellous example of the learning that occurs beyond the four walls of the classroom, and reinforces the importance of exposing the children to these activities – allowing them an opportunity to learn and engage so meaningfully.

Carey Comedy Night
We would like to formally invite you to attend an exciting new event at Carey – the upcoming Carey Comedy Night! This will be held on Friday 19 May at 7.00pm in the Ian Woolf Auditorium and all proceeds will be donated to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation of Australia and Robinson River.

Tickets are available via TryBooking, so please book a ticket to support some up and coming comedians from our very own Carey community.

Ben Dooley
Deputy Head – Student Welfare