It has been fantastic to see our young people back at school on both campuses and hear of their exciting holiday adventures. It feels like many families headed north, pursuing the warmth and sunshine, whilst others took the opportunity to hit the local slopes. Jane and I decided to head south and explore the wonders of this beautiful island, visiting the Huon region and Port Arthur Historic Site. We were pleased to be in Hobart on their warmest winter night on record and the accompanying beautiful days of sunshine.
Now back in Launceston, tomorrow night, we will be tripping the lights fantastic, as we join the Grade 12’s, celebrating an important right of passage at the Grammar Ball. I look forward to joining parents as we welcome our students onto our red carpet for a fine evening of dining, dancing and creating final-year memories.
Over the weekend I am looking forward to meeting with 20 of our current Gr 10 parents, in a workshop programme that is exploring the experience of our grade 10-12 students. This open consultation is helping us to better understand what it is that parents would like us to intentionally develop in our learning programmes and why they’re offering. Education is no longer siloed into specific grade levels, that meet specific age and stage outcomes. Rather, we view education in phases of learning. The Grade 10-12 phase of learning is not just about attaining a TCE and an ATAR as qualifications at the end of schooling. It is about intentionally working with students from adolescence to adulthood and in so doing, we have a responsibility to ensure that the experiences and ways of learning give students the opportunity to nurture their intrinsic love for whole-of-life learning.
There have been many rich conversations around this concept on campus with students and staff. We will continue consultation over the course of this term to inform teacher practice and to value the immediate and longer-term needs of our learners.
Next Thursday morning, we are hosting the Grade 7 2024 parent breakfast. This is an opportunity for us to work with our parents and share with them the experiences that their students and they will have as they join the senior campus. Transition is not just the business of students and teachers, it is ensuring that our parents also feel supported and informed about how they may best leverage their engagement with the school. A strong parent community at any grade level supports our children to thrive because not only should they be known in the classroom, but also in the broader community so that they are able to feel that rich connection that is at the heart of individual well-being in education.
I am looking forward to learning from and sharing with our parents the joys of the middle years of learning, which is another educational phase. In two weeks’ time, our Co-Director of Teaching and Learning, Sarah Shepherd, Head of Grade 7, Amanda Luttrell, Biology and HPE Teacher/Grade 7 Tutor, Jordan Travers and IBPYP Coordinator, Claire Calvert are presenting to colleagues across the state on what it means to deliver an engaging and challenging Grade 7 programme ‘In the middle of the middle’. Adolescence is a phase from Grade 5 – Grade 9 and the rapid changes and development that occur in this critical phase of education require a tailored response to meet the needs of learners.
This term, I’m visiting our Hawkes Boarding and prospective new families around the northeast region. We continue to enjoy increasing interest and uptake of our boarding offering with X new students joining us this semester.
Term 3 in schools all over Australia is a highly productive term, where we witness significant growth in student ability and skill, in a range of areas. This culminates in performances and sporting finals and celebration of community events. I look forward to seeing many of you at these events. Please make yourself known to me as I’m still getting to know names and faces and appreciate being reminded of who’s who.
Have a lovely weekend.