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This time last year, I was writing about the changing situation resulting from COVID-19 and the need to focus on The Knox School values, particularly that of Care and Empathy. While this term is thankfully different from that of 12 months ago, the School values remain at the forefront of student behaviour expectations. Our values also play a vital role in establishing the sense of belonging and community spirit that is so important to students’ well-being.

The in-person events of Term 1 have been greatly appreciated. We have enjoyed the opportunity to share experiences with peers and celebrate achievements both in and out of the classroom. Year 7 students are settling in well to their new Middle School routine, which was kick-started by the special two-day program and the Year 7 Welcome Night. The 3-day camp, with a strong focus on cementing connections and building relationships based on trust and respect, strengthened the bond the Year 7 students have with each other, with the teachers and the School.

Aside from the great House spirit and fierce rivalry demonstrated at the Swimming and Athletics carnivals, cross-age collaboration has been prevalent in many other areas. The Year 9 Middle School leaders collaborated with the Senior School Captains and organised the International Women’s Day Assembly. A similar collaboration is already underway for the Reconciliation Week Assembly in Term 2.

The Year 7 students organised, with the help of their Year 7 Mentors, an Easter Egg Hunt for Pre-Prep, Prep and Grade 1 students in the Junior School playground during the last week of Term 1. The looks of delight on the younger students’ faces were matched by the joy reflected in those of the older students as they helped hunt for the hidden treasures. Year 9 students are currently organising the ANZAC Day Assembly activities for early Term 2, which includes arranging several activities for Junior and Senior School students.

Leadership development isn’t limited to those who hold a formal position or who have a badge pinned to their blazer lapel. I had the privilege of listening to the Year 9 Biomimicry students’ presentations alongside Councillor Marcia Timmers-Leitch and Tracie Armstrong (Climate Response at Knox City Council) and could not have been more proud. The students demonstrated strong communication skills while showcasing their creativity and critical-thinking skills in identifying local climate challenges and potential solutions, indicating strong leadership skills and a willingness to challenge current thinking with respect and clear thought.

I wish all TKS students and community members a restful and welcome break. I trust that the holiday offers an opportunity for all to relax and recharge for what, no doubt, will be a jam-packed Term 2.

Toni-Ann

Toni-Ann Bright is Head of Middle School at The Knox School

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