From the Deputy Head of Middle School

My husband always says that I’m a creature of habit. Well, I do prefer to walk around the park anticlockwise, and when you like the Thai red curry so much, why would you change? I guess these little routines give me a sense of security and set rhythm to my busy day, as well as giving me a little headspace.

I really feel for our new members of Middle School; students and staff alike. I marvel at how quickly many have settled so well into our school routines. Not one Year 7 has asked me about our Sports Meetings on Fridays, Year 8s and 9s have conquered the notoriously hard-to-find B building and all are now loving our idiosyncratic bell times! Changing schools involves an exhausting, stressful and challenging change of normality. Anyone who has managed, in these last few weeks, to feel sufficiently settled and turned their focus to learning is doing very well. It is, of course, quite normal for some students to still be finding their feet. If this is the case, please feel free to talk to mentors, class teachers or to me. We are all happy to help as your child develops independence and resilience.

Two teachers who have really had to hit the ground running are our sparkling new Leaders of Learning, Ellen Moffatt and Michael Junkovic (pictured). Coming from permanent positions in other independent schools, we are indeed very fortunate that they were both prepared to look for new routines and challenges by coming to Carey.

Ellen, who is fluent in three languages, will lead our LOTE (Languages Other Than English) curriculum and will work with the teachers of Chinese, French and Indonesian. She believes that Middle School language learning is all about ‘trying a language on for size’. It is great for the development of long-term and working memory and importantly develops empathy for people from different cultures and countries. Ellen believes that she has benefitted enormously from many opportunities to travel and study overseas during her schooling, not just for language development but also for increasing her aptitude and world perspectives. She aims to boost the profile of study tours and exchanges here at Carey. Ellen is excited to be here and is appreciating Middle School for being a happy place. She’s looking forward to getting to know everyone, especially those in her Year 8 and 9 table tennis team!

As a father of two daughters, Michael is enjoying his first taste at co-education. He will lead our CARE (Community and Religious Education) department and is the perfect fit to the role as it provides him huge opportunities to further his work with community service and social justice programs. Michael is no stranger to large schools and has previously co-ordinated outreach programs involving 103 venues! This year, Michael is teaching all Middle School year levels and has already been delighted at the community feel and level of student engagement. He loves using storytelling as a way of imparting knowledge and developing empathy, and hopes the students will bring some of his stories to your dinner table. Michael will run our Year 8 Human Rights Convention later in the year and is currently involved in Year 8 Girls Tennis.

As we all settle back into school routines and student learning begins to take precedent, take note of these important events scheduled for this semester:

  • Meet the Mentor on Monday 25 February is an opportunity for parents to share with mentors wellbeing information about their child. Please contact the MS Curriculum office if you have difficulty navigating the updated version of the EDVAL booking system.
  • Stay tuned for information about Parent Student Teacher interviews which will be released in the coming weeks as this event occurs at the end of Term 1.
  • The NAPLAN Online trial continues this year and Year 7 and 9 students will complete the short practice test on Thursday 28 March. Students will need to provide their own earbuds/ headphones for NAPLAN.

Finally, we have a special request from the IT department for all parents to remind students to shutdown their computers each evening. This is done through the power option and is not achieved by simply closing the lid! Shutdown allows for regular updating of systems and software. This could perhaps be linked to the most important routine of all: a regular sleep time with no technology. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

With best wishes,

Meredith Plaisted
Deputy Head of Middle School – Student Learning