30 July, 2021


Lunch Break in the Junior School

Lunch Breaks for many Primary students and staff are often just another ‘lesson’ with a range of options to choose from. The all-important downball or build-ups, or other creative self-initiated group games, are a big part of this for many students, but other options are frequently open to those looking to try something new.

This week, as an example, has seen students engaging in one or more of chess coaching and practice, Art Club, daily mini-Olympics in the HPEC, music practices, public speaking coaching and on Wednesday, the Junior School Rock Band drew a large audience in the Mary Fox Hall.

Break times in Early Childhood and Primary years are important times for the learning and development of social skills, for emotional growth and self-regulation learning, for movement and physical activity, for practising skills in activities of personal choice and interest, for enhancing focus on learning in class sessions after the break, and more. There is quite a body of research reminding us of how significant these breaktime activities can be for learning during the break itself as well as for class time following the break, for physical and mental wellbeing, and then for longer term improved academic outcomes.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


100 Days of School!

On Tuesday 3 August Prep students celebrate a milestone – their first 100 days of formal school life. For five and six-year-olds, these first 100 days has seen an enormous amount of personal and academic growth. The countdown has been on in the four Prep classrooms since February and students, staff and parents will celebrate the big day with shared activities around the Campus on Tuesday morning.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


Winter weather

All Junior School students and families are reminded of the importance of wearing warm clothing to school at this time of the year! School jumpers can be worn at all times, school gloves and beanies are options for to and from school wear. Rain protection is also important every day – a raincoat or school Japara will be used during the day on wet days as students move between classes and learning activities as well as when waiting to be picked up or to catch a bus at the end of the school day.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


Daily Pickup traffic

We are all very aware of the busy 2.50pm to 3.15pm period around Elphin Campus gates each day. Quite a number of parents or guardians park and walk to the gate to collect students, others opt to use the drive-through zone for pickup by car. In total, this makes a significant number of pedestrians (many of whom are very young) and vehicles in a confined area for what is a short space of time.

Mostly this all flows safely and smoothly, but on some days (especially wet days) not quite as well as others! Pedestrians are reminded of the importance of keeping a close watch on children collected and walking from the gate as they are clearing the immediate busy area. Those crossing Elphin Road should do so at the traffic lights, even when this means walking a few extra metres to double back on the other side.

Drivers using the drive-through pick up will have noted how much it helps traffic flow when the child’s surname is clearly displayed in the front of the car for rostered staff to see. To keep traffic moving as efficiently as possible it helps greatly when drivers move as far forward in the zone as is clear before stopping, and do not leave the vehicle. These zones are signed ‘no parking’ areas for the designated pickup (and drop off) times on school days. On occasions when the lane is full, following vehicles should be very aware of not hindering through traffic on Elphin Road and may need to return a few minutes later. Arrivals for pick up in these zones start at 2.50pm for Early Learning only, then at 3.00pm for Prep-Year 5, and continue until 3.15pm (ie not all pickups need to be right at 3.00pm).

All families are also reminded of the option to pick up all siblings at one gate, thus avoiding multiple stops at different gates. In most cases, this will be at the gate of the youngest sibling.

Thank you for your support of these processes and of the rostered staff working to help everyone to depart safely and as efficiently as possible.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

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