23 July, 2021


Term 3

Welcome to the new Term to all Junior School students and families and particularly to all who are new to the College community this week. It has been an especially exciting time for a new class of 3-year-olds (and their families) commencing in the Early Learning Centre. Thank you to all who have been so supportive of the hurdles thrown our way with current COVID linked restrictions as we begin the new Term.

Students in all classrooms have resumed daily learning experiences with renewed energy and anticipation. For parents, the Thursday Coffee@Laneway was back yesterday, and we’re only seven school days away from the ‘100 days of Prep’ celebration on Tuesday 3 August. This begins a busy Term of learning-linked events, many of which include family participation, across all year levels. The Early Learning Erina Learning Celebration morning has been deferred from next week and families with students in these classes will receive further details shortly.

All Junior School parents are encouraged to find opportunities to drop into their child’s classroom from time to time through the Term. Morning drop off times (between 8.20am and 8.40am) are an opportunity for your child to show some of what they are working on and for you to see displays of work in the room. Numbers in classrooms are currently capped at 10 adults at any one time and the usual COVID -linked check-in processes apply to all visitors on campus.

Best wishes to all members of our community of learners for a productive and enjoyable Term ahead.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


Communication Skills

One of the ten key Learner Attributes that the College seeks to guide the development of for all students is effective communication skills. This week has seen the launch of a new public speaking and debating initiative for students in Years 3-5 to complement and enhance the range of public speaking opportunities in which our students are already engaged.

The public speaking part of this will see interested students across these year levels having specific coaching and mentoring in public speaking, enabling those who wish to participate in the 2021 Junior Public Speaking Competition to do so.

Year 3-4 speakers will address the topic:
“Volunteering in the Community” – tell us about a Volunteer Organisation in your Community, what do they do and why would you like to be part of that Organisation.

Year 5-6 speakers will address the topic:
“The Environment ” – how is it affecting our Planet, our Native Wildlife and what can we do to improve it.

On Thursday, a number of leading public speakers from the Senior and Middle School, together with a recent past student, Ms Katie Lester who coordinates public speaking across the College and Mr Phil Crowden (local Lions Club public speaking leader) spoke to all Year 3-5 students, sharing how and why they themselves became involved in public speaking and some of the key benefits they have derived from this.

Public speaking skills are an extremely valuable lifelong attribute. Through the development of these skills, students build self-esteem and leadership qualities. They learn to organise and express their thoughts and ideas coherently and persuasively, to motivate and inspire others, to influence important community issues. Critical thinking ability and broader academic achievement headline a long list of other benefits of the public speaking aspect of effective communication skill development.

This new initiative, led by Junior School Cocurricular Coordinator Mrs Rachel Buck, will enrich the public speaking groundwork being established in classroom learning and through speaking opportunities at LIVE@Elphin, in House activities and various school events through the year. The Junior School Cocurricular page on The Dash has more information for interested readers.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

Public Speaking

An excited team of Middle and Senior school students from the Penquite Campus visited the Junior School this week to help Mrs Rachel Buck launch Public Speaking to Year 3 – 5 for the first time!

Jack Oates-Pryor, Will Scott, Dean Power, Amelie Hughes and Charlotte Ball each spoke of how much public speaking skills had helped their self-confidence, increase their knowledge of the world and build friendships.  Past College Captain Ethan Hamilton (’20) also inspired them with free pizza!

Afterwards, our group of 14 students visited classrooms to answer questions and encourage students to participate in the new program, led by Mrs Rachel Buck, and a new opportunity coming up in the future.  The morning was a wonderful opportunity for our senior public speakers to mentor and buddy up with our younger students and we look forward to helping them in future.

Katie Lester
Person-in-Charge Public Speaking

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