New semester, new staff beginnings

Welcome to Semester 2! It has been a delight to see the students and hear their happy voices filling the classrooms and playground once again. We have had an exciting start to the term, with our usual action-packed pace. This week we have been enjoying an exciting focus on maths to celebrate Maths Week. Activities have been varied and inclusive of all students. The Year 5 students turned the clock back at their curriculum focus camp in Sovereign Hill, Ballarat. They dressed up and attended a class set in the last century. Remembering and reciting the times tables at speed was a challenge for some!

This term we are pleased to welcome the following students and their families to the Junior School: Ethan Lovell in Year 2 and Mia Athanasiadis in Year 1. We also welcome Emma Chiera, as the Year 1 classroom teacher (replacing Matt Lowe) and integration aides Leanne Barta and Tessa Rinadi.

I am also delighted to inform you that after a lengthy national recruiting search and interview process, Alby Ingles has been appointed ongoing Junior School Deputy Head – Student Wellbeing. Alby brings with him a passion for student wellbeing, a wealth of experience and a real understanding of the upper primary students and a number of the lower primary students and their families. We are currently advertising for an Upper Primary Co-ordinator for the commencement of 2020. We are pleased to have Andrew Nichol acting in the role for the interim.

Wendy Zhang and her partner Gavin are expecting their second child in late November and we wish them all the best in their parenting journey. Wendy will be taking parental leave for Term 4 and the 2020 school year. I look forward to informing you of her replacement when we have completed interviewing.

I would also like to inform you that our Junior School Co-ordinator of Learning Development, Angela Johnston has tendered her resignation effective from the end of the year. Angela has been a wonderful co-ordinator of Learning Development. Over the years, she has enabled the development of a thorough process for identifying students with special needs, creating individual learning plans and facilitating parent support group meetings. She has supported her team, as well as classroom teachers, in understanding strategies to help these children, particularly those in Year 1 and 2. Angela will continue in her role until the end of the year and we thank her for all the great work she continues to do for us. We are currently recruiting for her replacement and I look forward to sharing whom we have appointed when it is finalised.

On Tuesday, a strong contingent of Carey staff attended the funeral of Jan Dixon, a much-loved past Junior School teacher. Jan retired five years ago after 24 years of service to the School. In my first year as Head of Junior School, Jan was the staff rep and she went out of her way to support me in getting to know all the staff and the ‘Carey way’. Jan was also one of the original team of teachers who supported the set-up of the Year 3 Kitchen Garden program. We had a wonderful time exploring the idea, visiting schools and finally commencing the program in 2010. Jan was a passionate cook and the task suited her perfectly. She appreciated the importance of food preparation and sharing in both the home and school environment and respected the role it can play in developing a sense of wellbeing. I know Jan has touched the hearts of many children and families over the years. It was a privilege to farewell her so appropriately on Tuesday alongside her family and friends.

Libby Russell
Head of Junior School Kew