Term 1 has seen a slightly different start to the year for students; first was the special program for the opening two days of Term that was heavily focused on social and emotional well-being as underlining academic achievement and second was the snap 3-day lockdown this week. In reflecting on the first three weeks, I am reminded that the aim of the program for the first two days was to continue the growth of the culture at The Knox School that is welcoming, comfortable and supportive of students to achieve their best at all times. Feedback has been positive and has done much to foster a sense of belonging and pride in being a TKS student.
The connection students feel with the School is not limited to teachers and students – it is essential parents are connected to TKS, too, as they complete the 3-way partnership that is integral to students’ success. It was lovely to see the Junior School Parents at the Information Night and the Year 7 Parents at the Welcome Night enjoying meeting each other and the teachers. Further success of the special two-day program was evidenced by the Year 7 students who were quick to join their new-found friends and the wonderful sound of laughter drifting across from the Hockey Pitch.
Without a solid foundation and relationships built on trust and respect, little learning of worth will happen. When there is a connection, students will feel valued, be willing to take risks and ultimately thrive. The quality of relationships is important – it cannot just be lip service – and is further fostered through the House Program and the Mentor, who are the first point of contact for both teachers and students.
It is these relationships and connections that allowed The Knox School to transition into Home Campus, with minimal disruption to learning. While it was not without its challenges, particularly for the students new to The Knox School, the connections made with teachers enabled students to feel comfortable with the different mode of delivery, with mutual respect replicating an environment conducive to learning and one that allows for mistakes to be made in good humour, with the purpose of improving practices.
The Mentor Night interviews for Year 7 to 12 students and the Junior School Welcome Night at the start of Term provided the opportunity to strengthen the relationship between parents and the School, cementing the notion for students that they are strongly supported by people who are invested in; and committed to, their development. The House Program in Secondary School (Middle and Senior School) is diverse in its offerings and students are encouraged to make the most of the opportunities available at TKS, concurrently challenging students to be independent, critical thinkers.
The Knox School acknowledges parents as the primary educators of their children. As a School, we are explicit about our School Values – Responsibility, Respect, Resilience, Care and Empathy, and Achievement – and our strength and effectiveness as a School relies on the partnership between home and School working in tandem to deliver a constant message. Through clear communication and positive connections, we improve the learning opportunities and create an environment in which all students can flourish.
I look forward to an exciting and prosperous 2021 and celebrating the successes of students at The Knox School.
Mrs Toni-Ann Bright
Head of Middle School