From the Junior School

The 2018 school year has started extremely well in the Junior School and I have been overwhelmed with the warm and friendly welcome I have received by staff, parents and student alike, and look forward to many fond years at St John’s Grammar School.

I am thankful to all teaching and business support staff for starting the year so well, organising coffee mornings, and facilitating Acquaintance Evenings for parents. The information presented is extremely valuable and will assist your child to settle into his or her year level and understand routines and expectations. The focus for the first two weeks of term is ‘Bright Beginnings’ and I am confident that every child will be on the road to success and the conclusion of this comprehensive process.

During 2018, the School is focusing on improvement (Richard’s article has a great whole school overview as well). As with many institutions, we need to ensure we operate efficiently and effectively to meet the needs of our students and families and I am pleased the Senior Leadership have set this as the agenda this year.  Towards the end of 2017, I worked closely with the Junior School Executive (comprising Nick Smith, Daina Booth and Bron Sharpe) to identify the following areas for improvement in the Junior School;

  • Community engagement
  • Tracking of student achievement
  • Partnerships with industry and our local community
  • Developing and refining our teaching practice
  • Creating trademark experiences in every year level
  • Developing student agency within the thinking skills framework
  • Communication – both internal and external

This term, the focus will be on communication. As schools are very busy places, regularly informing parents of the wonderful learning happening in classrooms, co-curricular opportunities for students, individual achievement and community events can be complicated to say the least. Keeping you informed and further strengthening the partnership between home and School is very important and something we will continue to work on and refine as a team. Our goal is to ensure that:

  • All communication to parents is relevant and timely
  • We don’t over communicate on a weekly basis
  • Where possible, communications are streamlined ensuring multiple messages are received through one communication
  • Parents are informed of modes of communication for their particular child and year level

I look forward to regularly updating you regarding the improvement agenda in the Junior School this year. The Junior School Executive team will also articulate their vision and programs throughout the year through the fortnightly newsletter and I look forward to sharing student success stories with you.

Simon McKenzie
Head of Junior School