As a new member of the Mount Waverley Secondary College community, it has been a pleasure beginning to get to know the Year 7 and 8 students, families and staff in the Junior School. The start of the year has been busy and positive and has provided opportunities for students to set up good learning habits and high expectations for the remainder of 2018.
A key focus for the Year 7 students is adapting to a new community and they have approached new challenges with boundless enthusiasm. After overcoming the challenge of mastering a combination lock, the Year 7s have embraced their start to high school and are proving to be experts in deciphering their timetables, navigating the campus and transcribing each lesson’s Learning Intention with curiosity and diligence. In the first two days, students completed a reflective activity about their character strengths and will continue to revisit these throughout the year as they develop an growing awareness of themselves as learners. Currently ‘Thoughtful Thursdays’ provide an opportunity for a celebration of gratitude and reflection in Home Group. We are also eagerly awaiting the Year 7 Camp to Coonawarra Farm in the last week of term, designed to strengthen student connectedness and collaboration.
As the Year 7 students have adjusted to life on the Junior Campus, the Year 8 students have ably supported them. We see our Year 8 students as role models and leaders in the Junior School and encourage them to take up new challenges and set high expectations for success in 2018. The Challenge Program (26 – 29 March) will operate in the last week of term and will provide opportunities for students to challenge themselves in a number of ways as they participate in workshops that will develop physical and mental strength, an empathetic mindset and a capacity to understand the world around us. It is always a highlight of the year, and aligns philosophically with the Year 8 Camp program at Rubicon Outdoor Centre, which provides students with a highly challenging and very rewarding experience. Students have been invited to express interest in attending camp, which will run with four separate cohorts attending throughout Terms 2 and 3.
I would also like to acknowledge the work of our teachers facilitating clubs, and our hardworking Junior Campus Activities Coordinator Mr Andrew Morton, who work to ensure students in the Junior School are able to participate in an array of extracurricular activities throughout the year to try a range of activities and pursue their passions. Upcoming highlights include the Junior Campus Amazing Race on 8 March, and the 54 Year 7 students attending an orientation session at SYN FM next Wednesday before they helm their own radio shift later this year.
We are fortunate to have such a hardworking team of staff supporting students in the Junior School this year. Thank you to Junior School Leader, Ms Lauren Kelly, and Year Level Coordinators, Ms Emma Kerr, Ms Katie Radak, Ms Belinda Gatward and Mr Way Lim, for their hard work and commitment to supporting the learning and wellbeing of all students in their care. Thank you also to Ms Danielle Mott (Student Wellbeing Coordinator) and Ms Margaret Taylor (Individual Needs Coordinator) who have provided expert support and guidance to our students to ensure their year has started as smoothly as possible.
We look forward to a successful and challenging year ahead in the Junior School and thank all students, families and staff for their support in ensuring the start of the year has been a positive one.
Mr John Simon
Head of Junior School