From the Head of Junior School

The Camp program is well under way, and the feedback from the students has been excellent. There has been a slight modification to the Year 6 expo experience to help further challenge the students. Without fail, the staff return with positive stories of the insight they get into their students’ character and ability that is not always evident in the classroom. Providing opportunities for our students to connect with nature is a priority in our carefully structured Outdoor Education Program.

Research shows that our children are not getting enough experience with nature. It is also verifying the positive impact it can have on the wellbeing of both children and adults. The busyness of our lives is often used as an excuse to why connection with nature is not as frequent as it could be.

In Assembly, I have been speaking to the students about the wonder of nature, curiosity, and the simple joys it can bring to our days, such as crunching leaves under feet, and savouring the magnificent sunsets. I wonder when was the last time you took your child on a nature detective mission, such as rock pooling, ponding, or searching for footprints of creatures? When was the last time you packed the picnic basket and rug and hit the road as a family?

Technology has added a layer to lives that can easily create a distraction to these rich experiences. I want to remind parents that we do not recommend our primary students have mobile phones at school. If they are brought to school they remain in the student’s bag, switched off, and are not to be used during the day. You can get a message to your child via Reception, if needed. We have also noted that some students are wearing smart watches, which basically means the child is connected all day. I understand it is a tricky business being a parent navigating the new technological gadgets that are being developed. I ask you to think about what the unforeseen consequences of giving your child some of them might be. We do not recommend that our children need access to a smart phone or a smart watch. This should be saved for later as a rite of passage when they have the maturity to manage it.

To support the management of technology, make it a priority to have a technology-free meal a day. This is when children learn how to greet, take turns, share, develop empathy, table manners, and how to converse. Also make sure your child’s bedroom is technology free.

I am looking forward to joining the Year 4s next Thursday at camp and sharing some nature experiences!

Kansai University visit – hosting a student
We are looking forward to welcoming 12 young adult students from Kansai University in Osaka Japan, in Week 6 of Term 3. During their five-day stay in the Junior School, these students will be based in classrooms observing how Carey teachers integrate Thinking Routines into the curriculum.

We are looking for families who are interested in offering a one-night Home Stay for our visiting Japanese University students on Sunday 27 August. Pick up is from Richmond Hill Hotel, 353 Church Street between 9.00–9.30am.

In the past, host families have offered a range of activities from family picnics, tours of the city, visits to Healesville Sanctuary and the Great Ocean Road, backyard football and cycling along the river. The students are very excited to experience being with a Carey family.

If your family would like to a host a student from Kansai University, or if you have any questions, please contact S’Carter via email, or leave your contact details at Reception.

Libby Russell
Head of Junior School Kew