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February 2, 2021


From The Principal

 I suspect there has been a range of reactions in the homes of The Knox School’s students last night and perhaps some dinner conversations around the contents of the letter from the Chair of the Board and some feedback from your sons and daughters regarding my messages to them yesterday. I know that to be the case in some homes as I have had feedback of same even as I write these words.
 
I am sure there was a range of reactions to the news of my impending retirement. My comments today are written to assure you that any link a few might make between my absence at The Knox School post Semester One 2021 and a perceived diminution of the quality of the school would be misplaced.

There are two reasons for this comment. One of my goals over the last seven years has been to build the depth in quality of school leadership and teaching capacity amongst the staff. We have all worked at this assiduously and the proof of that investment by the staff was evident in how we managed the COVID-19 context of 2020. Such a goal is never completely achieved as expectations increase over time along with capacity, but TKS is highly successful.

In my 40 plus years involved in school education I can safely assure you that the quality of the staff and depth of leadership at The Knox School is superb. I will add that I have worked at several incredibly high achieving schools and held a position at the national level in education. I know a good school when I see one and we have one. You can feel confident in the leadership and advice you will receive from all the staff at The Knox School. Leadership and good professional advice emanates from quality people of high capacity, no matter the position they hold, be they senior staff, teaching staff or general staff.

As Principal, I am the face of the school and I understand therefore that many of the successes or weaknesses of any school are attributed to the Principal. There is no doubt that the Principal of a school has a significant influence, and I am sure that many of you who have been here sometime will have noticed changes over the last seven years. These changes have been owned and implemented by many staff.
 
I advised the students I am retiring because I am past my best. Not far past, but past, nonetheless. I explained to the students it is important I do the right thing in life, not the easy thing, which would be to stay and enjoy another year or two.

The right thing to do is to acknowledge that age is catching up with me. I love the job I do, the people I work with and feel very much attached to the community of The Knox School. To continue to stay is not in the best interests of this community, no matter how many connections I have through the community.

My resignation provides an opportunity for the Board of Directors, led by Wendy Lewis OAM to find someone who will complement where we are up to in our development as a school and take us to the next level, as mapped out in our strategy. That strategy is owned by the Board of Directors and the staff of the school. As a result, you will not see substantive differences in the style and direction of the school in the short to medium term.

My experiences over the last seven years have been the most rewarding of my career and when the times comes, I will miss you all terribly. In the meantime, there is work to be done and much to achieve over the coming semester

Allan Shaw
Principal and Chief Executive

Facemasks

In alignment with Government advice, face masks are once again required at school. Students in Middle and Senior School must wear masks indoors while our Junior School students are not required to wear masks.

Face masks are not mandatory for teachers while teaching but all staff must wear face masks at other times. The safety and wellbeing of our School community remains our number one priority. Please remember, if you have any COVID-19 symptoms you need to get tested and stay home from school and follow isolation instructions if you have been at any of the Tier 1 exposure sites.

Guidelines for sending Your Child to School

This is a reminder. Please not send your child to school if they are unwell, especially with cold / virus like symptoms. If they exhibit cold or flu like symptoms please take them for COVID testing and isolate until you receive a negative result. If you need to give your child paracetamol for cold or flu like symptoms, they should not be coming to school. By keeping your child home if unwell you will help prevent infections spreading, others becoming sick and also needing to test and isolate.

Parents on Campus

In keeping with the current COVID-Safe guidelines, parents and visitors to the School are subject to density limits, physical distancing requirements and registration if on-site for longer than 15 minutes.

School Photo Day

A reminder that School Photo Day will be taking place on Thursday 11 February, a timetable will be sent out to parents in the coming days. Students should receive order forms from their teachers next week. Should you have any inquiries please contact Michelle Ozcan. Please note SchoolPix are no longer accepting any cash payments.

Sibling Photos

A reminder to order sibling photos online prior to School Photo Day. Sibling photos will be taken in the Auditorium Foyer beginning at 8.20am. Parents of siblings, please send your children directly to the Auditorium Foyer for their photo upon arrival at School.

Chinese New Year Celebrations

12 February is the first day of the 2021 Chinese New Year, the Year of the Ox. To those of you who were born in the year of the ox, may you be blessed with good health, overflowing joy, amazing love and abundant wealth.

To celebrate this festive season which traditionally lasts from the last day of the Chinese calendar to the 15th day of its first month.

On Friday 12 February, everyone on campus will be treated to a Mr Softy's ice cream or hot jam donut during lunch time while enjoying some traditional Chinese New Year music. Each student will also receive a Chinese paper cutting bookmark signifying the Year of the Ox.

Welcome Back Zoe and Janelle

Welcome back Zoe and Janelle A very warm welcome back to long-standing members of the TKS community, Janelle Mathias and Zoe Guo who join us after a period of parental leave. Zoe, who has been with the school for 11 years, returns to her role as one of our Chinese language teachers and Janelle, a TKS member since 2009, resumes her position as Head of Lawrence House as Lindy Chiu leads Flinders. We are thrilled to have you back.

House Mentor Night

Year 7 – 12 Parents are warmly encouraged to secure a 15-minute virtual appointment with their child’s Mentor (formerly referred to as Tutor) in the upcoming House Nights, on Monday 8 and Wednesday 10 February between 4pm and 8pm.

Details Here

Leadership Assembly

Join us for this year's Middle and Senior Student Leadership and Celebration of Achievement Assembly which will be livestreamed to parents on 16 February 2021 at 11.20am - 12.40pm.
Please note the link will not work until the day of the event.

Livestream Here

Auditions Open for Senior Play

“Getting away with murder must be quite easy provided that one’s motive is sufficiently inscrutable”

Auditions for the 2021 Senior Play, The Real Inspector Hound begin next week. If your interest is on the stage, a speaking or non-speaking role, or as backstage and technical support, if you’re a student in years 10-12, we want you! Sign up now on the sheet outside the music office.

Extra Curricular Excellence

It's been an exciting week with lots of student achievements to celebrate! A very big congratulations to: 
- Darren Dineshkumar for being selected as part of the Australian Open Ballkid Program,
- Amrit Sidhu for being offered a role on the Knox City Council Youth Advisory Committee 
- Yunal Sumathipala for his participation in the Box Hill Reporter District Cricket    Association Cricket Carnival, and
- Ben Currie for being awarded a 2020 Ferntree Gully Endeavour Award. 
- Following in his brother’s footsteps, Talvin Nota 10C has been selected to trial for Hockey Victoria U15’s state team. He is on the Final Player Assessment list which trials this weekend. Whether selected or not, this is an incredible achievement in a very competitive field. Good luck, Talvin!

Relay For Life

The Knox School will again have a team at the Knox Relay for Life, to be held on Saturday 13 March at Knox Athletics Track.
 
The event has been shortened this year and will not be an overnight event, instead running from 12.00pm to 10.00pm on the Saturday.
 
We would love you to be part of our team at this fantastic community event, which raises much needed funds for the Cancer Council. The idea of the relay is to have at least one member of the team on the track at all times during the event. Relay for Life is a fantastic and fun community event – stay through the event, or just come for an hour or so. If you would like to join the TKS team, please register at the link below. If you are unable to join the team, you can still contribute to our fundraising efforts, by donating to the TKS team through the link. If you have any questions, please email Nicola Thomas in the Junior School

Click here to Join or Donate

Connection and Fun at the Year 7 Welcome Evening

The quadrangle was a buzz on Wednesday evening as we welcomed the 2021 Year 7 students and families to our community.

An initiative of the Falcon Philanthropy Group (FPG), this event is a way for our families to build bonds and strengthen connections with each other and teachers over refreshments.

The event is organised by the Parent Engagement Group who are a sub group of the FPG. The key focus of the FPG and the Parent Engagement Group is to strengthen, foster and maintain relationships with its key constituents.
 
Thank you to all of the staff and volunteers who supported this key event and a special thanks to Mr Jeffs who did an amazing job keeping all the students entertained with many fun games and activities.

If you are interested in hearing more about the Falcon Philanthropy Group or the Parent Engagement Group please contact the Community Engagement Coordinator Beth Higgs

Join a TKS Choir

If you love to sing and express who you are, then come join a choral ensemble in the Music Department. All students are welcome and rehearsals occur each week.

Senior Choir – Year 7 - 12
Tuesday 3pm - 4pm, Auditorium

Murana Voices – Years 4 - 6
Wednesday 8am - 8:30am, Auditorium Foyer

Piccolo Voices – Year 2 - 3
Thursday Lunchtime MR2 (upstairs music classroom)

Key Dates

As we settle into the new school year and routines. I ask you to please refresh your memory regarding the arrangements for the beginning of the day and the end of the day.

I thank all parents for their cooperation and support in following these guidelines.

Morning drop-off

The top carpark is operating three Kiss and Drop lanes for Year 1 to Year 6 students – these three lanes are a no parking zone during this time. You will be asked to move your car if you park in one of these lanes. The lanes are easily identifiable, and traffic marshalls are providing clear directions please see the map here

Pre-Prep and Prep families, please display the signs you were given so that you are easily identifiable and we can help direct you to the right spot if need be

Pre-Prep and Prep families, you can park in the far-right parking bays of the top carpark (closest to Burwood Hwy) or the carpark outside reception and walk your children to the classroom via the external doors please see the map

Please do not come into the building unnecessarily or remain on campus for longer than 15 minutes unless you have an appointment

If you are on campus for longer than 15-minutes, you must register using the School QR code

No playing on the playground before school

End of day pick-up

Pre-Prep and Prep students should be collected via the classrooms external doors – please do not wait inside the Junior School building

Please be patient – due to the density of cars coming at pick-up time there will inevitably be congestion, but it is for a short time

Once you have collected your children please exit the school as promptly as possible 

No playing on the playground after school 
 
Catherine Samuel
Head of Junior School

First Days

ELC
A big welcome back to all our new and returning ELC parents. The commencement of the year has been a great success with only a few tears which generally subside throughout the day. The children are settling in well and adjusting to our class routines and environment. Term One is an important term for all educators, families and children to build connections within our Knox School community. We have an exciting and fun filled year ahead of us.

Prep
What a wonderful start we have had with our brand new Preps for 2021! Our amazing parents dropped off their joyful children to Mrs Walton and Mrs Powell, as we welcomed the very excited group of 36 new preps to school on Monday 1st of February. We have already learnt so much about each other and our school. We even had a special delivery in our rooms this week, where brand new rugs were brought to us to share and enjoy in our classes. We can’t wait to see what the year ahead has in store for all of us!

Junior School Information Evening

Thank you to those parents who were able to attend the Junior School Information and Welcome Evening. It was lovely to have so many parents into school and together after so long. Teachers shared valuable information regarding the day-to-day running of the classroom and some exciting events for students to look forward to in the year ahead. If you were unable to attend and have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact your classroom teacher.

Junior School Assembly Information

A reminder that due to indoor density limits, parents will not be able to attend Junior School Assemblies in person at this stage. However, the school will live-stream the JS Assembly for those parents who might like to tune in from home or work.

Please CLICK HERE for the link to the JS Assembly live feed. This link will be active each assembly week from 8.45am. The next Junior School Assembly is on Friday 12 February.

Junior School Volunteer Sessions

We warmly welcome parents interested in in becoming a classroom helper to attend an information session on Tuesday 9 February at 8.45 am and Thursday 11 February 2.45 pm in the Auditorium.

All classroom helpers will be required to take part in training sessions and require a valid Working with Children Check

Both sessions will be held in the Auditorium – if you have not already registered via Operoo, please let Nicola in the Junior School Office know which session you would like to attend.

ELC Enrolments for 2022

If you have a child eligible for Pre-Prep 3 or Pre-Prep 4 in 2022 and are interested in enrolling or need more information on ELC or ELC Tours, please contact Tania Castles in the Registrar’s Office.The demand to enter Pre-Prep is high and the school will offer priority placement to current parents providing an enrolment form has been submitted at least 12 months prior

Co-Curricular activities

Co- curricular Activities are scheduled to begin on the week of Monday 8 February. Please click on the link below for details regarding the Co-Curricular opportunities for Term 1 2021.

Please ensure your children are aware of their afternoon arrangements and where they need to go. It is helpful for parents to communicate with teachers by writing a short note in the student diary if arrangements are different from what is usual.

Click here for further information

Junior School Parent Helpers

Throughout the year, there are various activities run successfully thanks to the support and assistance of parents, who generously give their time and support. So that we can continue to provide these opportunities for the students and Junior School community, we are seeking volunteers to be involved in the following:

• Junior School Banking Program
• Mother’s Day stall
• Father’s Day stall
• Year Level Classroom Reps

Please contact Nicola Thomas in the Junior School Office, if you would be interested in assisting with one of these activities or finding out further information.

Child Car Seat Safety

Watching all the children arrive at Kiss and Drop each morning has reminded me of the importance of ensuring we are aware of the regulations and guidelines for children travelling safely in cars. Last year, as my 12-year-old niece jumped in the front seat of my car for the first time and my younger nephew insisted he did not need his booster seat anymore, I realised I could not recall what the advice was regarding child car seat safety. Below is a link to a fact sheet from the Royal Children’s Hospital passed onto me by a parent, and I found it very useful to refresh my understanding. I recommend that parents take a moment to read the fact sheet.

Click here

Camp Australia

Bookings for Camp Australia 2021 now open see below for more information

Click here

VCE Jackets

The VCE Jackets ordered by Year 12 students will be delivered for the start of Term Two. Payment of $85 can be made through the School's payment portal. Select the "events and other payments" option and be sure to list your name for reference

Pay Here

Take Risks in 2021

In a Masterclass on songwriting, Alicia Keys said, “I was writing another song, that was called…something I don’t remember because it didn’t work out. But I didn’t need it to work out. I needed it to lead me to this…one of my favourite songs. Everything is a process. Everything is leading to something.”

If we all remember that failure is not final, that it’s a gateway to another place, then we can genuinely take risks with our ideas and endeavours. After all, we are a learning community.

Academic Tutoring

Our Alumni Tutors are available to all students on Tuesdays from 3-5pm in the library, and to Senior School Students in the Senior Building during Period 1 and 2 on Thursdays and Fridays. The lists here can be used to see what specialist help is available

Attendance

Please note that students are expected to arrive on time to school for the start of each day.
 
Even when Flexible Learning Periods or Study Periods are timetabled.

As the new school year commences, students are reminded that I will be emailing a weekly Career Newsletter. I encourage each of you to read over the contents and make sure you do not miss out on opportunities and important information. Each week there will be information about new university courses, university and TAFE events, as well as information about other activities/opportunities.
 
I also invite all of you to have a look at the Careers website which is a fabulous one-stop shop of information. If you register your details under the secure For Students tab, you will have access to all sorts of resources including interesting quizzes, as well as résumé and cover letter templates should you are applying for a part-time job. The weekly Career News will also be saved in the Secure Student’s Area.
 
A reminder that Year 10 & 11 students can drop in to my office before school, during recesses and at lunchtimes for a chat, and Year 12’s can make appointments to see me during your Private Study periods.

Please see the Career News for the upcoming week here.

Dates to Diarise in Term 1
- What the Career Centre can assist you with?
- Tax File Number (TFN)
- Career as an Astronomer
- News from Monash University
- Important update for Current Year 12 EAL Students
- Bachelor of Science Subject Adjustment
- What is the Difference between Computer Science, IT and Software Engineering?
- Tuckwell Scholarship 2022
- University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT)
- SAE Qantm Creative Media Institute
- Cybersecurity Courses offered in Victoria in 2021

Jacky Burton
Career Development Practitioner

Specialised Sport Training

Next week we have a series of specialised training across our middle and senior school.
 - Year 7 students will also participate in athletic readiness for the upcoming House Athletics Carnival scheduled to be held on Thursday 18 March.
- Year 8 and 9 students will spend Thursday afternoon trialing for their Term 4 Sport
- Senior students will commence their first round of home and away EISM matches.

We wish our Seniors all the best for their first interschool match since March last year. A full list of details for all Year 7-12 students is linked below

Sport Details

 

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The Knox School, 220 Burwood Highway, Wantirna South VIC 3152

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