Welcome to 2017!

I extend a warm welcome to all Middle Years boys and families to the 2017 school year. A particular welcome to those boys joining us for the first time. We very much look forward to working closely with you all this year and supporting your son to transition into the Senior School. Saints is a very busy place, and Middle Years boys launch straight into programs and activities from the first day. Swimming trials are complete, the Year 8 Camp Lead-in program is well underway and Year 7s will complete this program next week. I invite all parents to contact your son’s Mentor should you have questions or concerns in this early stage of the year.

Independent Learners

One of the key foci with our Year 7 and 8 boys is to support them develop the skills required to be truly independent learners. There will be times when boys require pastoral support and we have an outstanding team of Mentors, Year Level Coordinators, School Counsellors and Chaplains who will ensure this support is forthcoming. Within this context, there are also times when we believe boys need to be accountable for their actions or inactions, and we aim to support them to develop their capacity to look after themselves. Boys are encouraged to manage their own time, check emails, organise their resources and develop positive routines.  We thank parents for your support in this regard, and look forward to working with your son to develop these skills of independence and resilience.

Absence, late arrivals, early departures

A reminder to parents of Middle Years boys that all communication with boys throughout the school day should be made via the Senior School Office. The staff in the office are best placed to quickly locate and contact all Middle Years boys when necessary. Often Year 7 and 8 boys will not be found in their Mentor Classes, so inquiries about boys are always best done through the Senior School Office. In this way parents are saved the trouble of locating their son, the learning program is able to continue without interruption and staff are not required to leave classes or work stations to meet inquiries they are often unable to assist with. The cooperation of parents in this regard is greatly appreciated. 

Camp Lead-in days

Year 8 boys have participated in their Camp Lead-in days this week with great success. Year 7 boys will participate in Week 3. Thank you to Emma Lowing who has facilitated this program, and to Mentors for their support. These Lead-in days are an integral part of the journey for Middle Years boys. They provide a great opportunity for boys to receive information, practise skills and develop relationships that will make their week-long journey as successful and rewarding as possible.

Sports program

The Term 1 Sports program launches this week, with most Middle Years boys training after school on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Boys are reminded to be prompt for training and ensure they bring with them all the necessary uniforms and equipment. A reminder that the sports bag storage room is opened every morning at 8.25am and opened again after school.

Homework

The Senior School Homework Policy is available for viewing on Keystone.  As a general rule, boys in Year 7 are expected to complete 75 minutes of homework per night, and Year 8s should complete 90 minutes. A homework timetable has been constructed for each class to support this important aspect of your son’s learning. The policy outlines our beliefs about the benefits of homework and I invite you to contact Mentors, subject teachers or the Learning and Teaching Office if you have any queries about the expectations. 

James Tamblyn
Head of Middle Years