Head of Middle School

Vertical House Grouping in Middle School

In the busy Middle School, where students navigate the complexities of adolescence, fostering a sense of community and belonging is paramount. Among the various strategies employed to achieve this, Vertical House Grouping stands out as an effective tool in promoting unity and camaraderie within the school environment. As demonstrated by recent events at our school, such as the House Dodgeball Competition and Round Robin activities organised by Middle School House Captains, this approach cultivates meaningful connections and friendships across different year levels, enriching the educational experience for all involved.

The House Dodgeball Competition held on Tuesday, 27th February, was more than just a sporting event. Bringing together students from various year levels, the competition provided an excellent platform for interaction beyond the confines of classrooms. As students cheered for their respective Houses, they found themselves forging bonds with peers they might not have otherwise crossed paths with. This intermingling of different age groups not only breaks down social barriers but also promotes inclusivity and empathy, essential qualities in a diverse and interconnected world.

Furthermore, the House Dodgeball Competition showcased the power of teamwork and collective spirit. Students learned to strategise, communicate effectively, and support one another, regardless of their age and differences. These valuable lessons extend far beyond the confines of the gym, preparing students for future endeavors where collaboration is key to success. For the record, McHaffie AB won, defeating Sambell CD.

Following the success of the House Dodgeball Competition, Middle School House Captains took the initiative to organise Round Robin activities during extended Home Group time on Tuesday, 5th March. These activities, ranging from Silent Ball to Just Dance, provided students with opportunities for light-hearted fun and camaraderie. By participating in these activities, students not only strengthened their bonds with their housemates but also developed essential social skills such as teamwork, communication, and sportsmanship.

Moreover, the Round Robin activities facilitated meaningful interactions between students of different ages, fostering mentorship and peer support. Younger students looked up to their older counterparts as role models, while older students took on leadership roles, guiding and encouraging the younger peers. In this way, Vertical House Grouping creates a nurturing environment where students feel valued and supported by their peers, irrespective of their age or grade level.

As educators, it is imperative that we continue to plan initiatives that foster meaningful connections and empower students to thrive in a collaborative environment. Through Vertical House Grouping, we can create a school culture where every student feels a sense of belonging and is inspired to reach their full potential.

Student Attendance

Research has shown that your child's regular attendance may be the greatest factor influencing his/her academic success. Daily attendance is important for all children and young people to succeed in education and to ensure they don’t fall behind both socially and developmentally:

· School participation maximises life opportunities for children and young people by providing them with education and support networks.

· School helps children to develop important skills, knowledge and values that set them up for further learning and participation in their community.

· School helps them to make the most of life opportunities.

If your child is absent, please send a Direqt Message to ABSENCES with the reason.

Positive Behaviour Expectations Matrix

I am pleased to introduce an important initiative that has been developed in collaboration with Mr. Jason Scott, Head of Senior School, and Mrs. Cath Huther, Head of Junior School: The Positive Behaviour Expectations Matrix. This comprehensive framework aims to establish and uphold positive behaviour expectations across all facets of our school community, aligning closely with our core values of respect, empathy, honesty, excellence, and responsibility.

Our primary goal with the Positive Behaviour Expectations Matrix is to ensure that every student understands and adheres to appropriate behaviour standards in various settings within the school environment. Whether it's in the classroom, while using ICT, in shared spaces, outdoors, in the canteen, or even on the bus, we expect students to demonstrate behaviours that reflect our school's values and contribute to a harmonious and conducive learning atmosphere.

School Camps

Overall, school camps offer a holistic learning experience that goes beyond the confines of the classroom, helping students develop important life skills, build meaningful relationships, and cultivate a sense of belonging and connectedness to their school community. This week, Year 7 attended a four-day camp at Lyrebird Park and next week Year 5 will attend a three day camp at Sovereign Hill.

Calendar Dates

Labour Day Public Holiday Monday 11 March

Year 5 Camp Sovereign Hill Wed 13 – Fri 15 March

Year 5 NAPLAN Writing Wednesday 13 March

NAPLAN Testing Window 15 – 27 March

Ralph Arceo

Head of Middle School

First MTB Classes for Years 5 & 6

Our Year 5 & 6s enjoyed their first Mountain Biking classes last week. It was so much fun for students learning new skills and embracing their adventurous sides. Classes will be expanded across the school over the year.

Come to the Open Day on Saturday 16 March for mountain biking MTB demonstrations!

Year 6 Marble Run Fun!

Our Year 6 students STEM classes made a fun diversion last week when they created Marble Runs out of old toilet paper tubes, egg cartons and any other tubular 'found objects'.

The aim of the class is to deepen students' understanding of gravity, motion, and simple machines. They got to apply advanced concepts in design and construction by creating a Marble Run Machine using cardboard toilet tubes and egg boxes. Students collaborated effectively in teams, enhancing critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities.

Shona O'Dempsey and Simon Furniss

Year 6 Teachers