10 February, 2023


Home-school partnerships – what the research says

Home-school partnerships involve collaborative working relationships between families and schools. They can support students in more productive and consistent work and behaviour, which in turn can improve students’ interest, motivation and engagement in learning both at home and at school. In effective partnerships, families and schools recognise their shared interest in and responsibility for children and collaborate to create shared goals, share information, and enhance opportunities for children’s learning. They create constructive connections between home and school settings that promote positive educational and social outcomes.  This is the introduction to an online article at  – one of numerous writings highlighting the importance of strong home-school partnerships for student learning and wellbeing progress and outcomes. This partnership is especially important through the formative years of children’s development.

Parents visiting their child’s classroom, class teacher contacts with all families in the first fortnight, Year Level and Class pages on The Dash. and the start of year Class Meetings for parents of students in Prep-Year 5 are starting points for this year’s partnership. In the week starting 20 February, individual Parent-Student-Teacher conferences for all Junior School families (Early Learning to Year 5) are another early opportunity to strengthen links and share goal-setting information for the school year ahead.

Junior School Houses

Junior School students are introduced to the College House system from Prep onwards. Each student is placed in one of Briggs, Dean, Nance or Fox House. House activities are another avenue for students to build their sense of belonging and create opportunities for developing teamwork skills and supportive mindsets. The fun of House competitions in various fields also generates considerable excitement and House ‘spirit’.

This week, Year 3-5 students had their first House meeting with some introductory cross-year level activities and planning for the upcoming House Swimming Trials and Junior School Inter-House Swimming Carnival. Snippets discussed at two of these meetings were:

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the ‘present’. Make the most of your day.”

“Winning doesn’t always mean being first. Winning means you are doing better than you’ve done before.”

House Heads leading the House teams in the Junior School this year are:

Nance: Andrew Sulzberger (MusicTeacher)
Briggs: Nicky Reid (HPE Teacher)
Fox: Louise Ockerby (Year 3 Class Teacher)
Dean: Jude Coombe (Year 4 Class Teacher)

Sun Protection

‘Being SunSmart in Tasmania means using sun protection when UV levels reach 3 and above; this occurs from September to April.’  This week’s UV readings in Launceston were high –  9.8 maximum on Friday! The weather report today stated: “Very high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Alert in effect for 8 hours between 10am–6pm.”.

We are fortunate to have a campus with extensive natural shade along with purpose-built shade sail areas. However, there are inevitably some times when students are outdoors in areas that may not be shaded. Hats must be worn by all students for all outdoor break times and outdoor learning activities throughout Term One. Rash vests may be worn for swimming and aquatic activities at school and students are encouraged to bring and apply sunscreen as needed through the day.

Elphin Campus Traffic

There was a noticeable jump in traffic volumes all around the city this week as all schools have been commencing their new year. For our Elphin Campus, both vehicle and pedestrian traffic at the morning drop-off and afternoon pickup are daily times when road safety is a critical priority.

For drivers, either using the drive-through zone at the nominated gate or finding a marked parking space nearby OR parking a comfortable distance from the school and enjoying a short walk to and from the gate, are all options. Please do not park in unmarked spots or across private driveways. Children alighting from vehicles should do so on the footpath side of the vehicle. Drivers dropping children at the kerb should ensure the child has their bag and has moved well clear of the vehicle before driving away.

Young children should always be accompanied by an adult on the footpaths and anybody crossing Elphin Road should do so at the traffic lights. Note that there are no pedestrian crossings in Erina or Claremont Streets (speed humps are not crossings), so students needing to cross these streets should also be supervised by an adult.

Thank you for your support of the College Traffic Officer who works to keep traffic flowing as efficiently as possible and for your consideration of all fellow road users and local residents at these times.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School