19 February 2020

What do lions, pools, churches and iPads have in common?

KewJunior School
What do lions, pools, churches and iPads have in common?
What do lions, pools, churches and iPads have in common?
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A sea of colour, the thunder of drums and the sight of two Chinese Lions graced Cluny Green last Friday as part of the Chinese New Year Celebrations. Students initially waited with great anticipation for the dragons to weave their way onto Cluny and perform an energetic and majestic Chinese cultural dance. At times engaging with the excited and mesmerised members of the Junior School community – even finding an opportunity to welcome Mr Quan to the school with a delicate peck on the cheek – the Chinese Lion Dance certainly provided a memorable finish to the week and a timely reminder of the positive and diverse cultural society we live in.

A change of location to Carey’s Bulleen Playing Fields was the scene of the House Swim Trials this week. Approximately 270 students in Year 3 to Year 6 splashed their way down the pool in a House versus House format to help the Heads of House identify who would swim in each heat of the first of our House Competitions for 2020, the House Swimming Competition to be held on Sunday 6 March. A wonderful sign of just wanting to ‘have a go’ was displayed by the Year 3 students in their first swimming trial when over 30 students put up their hand to try the 25m butterfly event. Madam Butterfly Susie O’Neill, watch out! Your Australian records may be in jeopardy in a few years!

The clang of church bells last Thursday at a capacity-packed St Paul’s Cathedral was not to signify the uniting of two people, but rather the uniting, worship and celebration of an entire school community. We had the opportunity to not only commission the new Principal, Mr Walter, to come together as one, to induct our new school leaders and indeed to pause and reflect. The formalities of the evening were punctuated with choral displays from all sections of the school. Junior School Kew’s own Bel Canto Choir, under the instruction of Mrs Lesley Collins, performed with poise and a sense of experience well beyond their short time together.

Cyber Safety, digital footprints and the responsible use of technology for students continue to be one of the Schools foci for supporting student empowerment, growth and development. The Year 5 iPad Information Evening served to not only educate students, but served as a timely reminder about the responsibility on us as parents to be involved, set ground rules for technology use at home and adhere to age restrictions and recommendations on apps and internet access for our children. Regular check-ins, home task discussions and a family charge station all support the student in a dynamic and ever-changing landscape of technology.

You may be wondering where the answer to the title question is hiding. Well, it is quite simple and very affirming – the above events have all added to creating a positive and calm start to the year. The classrooms are humming with supportive, empathic and engaged students, most eagerly awaiting the next learning or growth opportunity. The playgrounds and library are a sea of active children with record numbers of students signed up for Chess Club and a steady and safer turning circle for students and parents.

We look forward to seeing you at the Welcome Carnival on Friday on Cluny Green as an opportunity to bring our community together and launch into 2020.

Alby Ingles
Deputy Head Junior School Kew – Student Wellbeing

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