From our Principal

Sharing knowledge, understanding, and commitment to student progress.

Student learning and growth is a partnership of the best sort. When teachers and mentors work with parents and a broader community to support young people, great things happen for those young people! Each person in this set of relationships occupies a different role, and these roles evolve over time as a child matures and moves through the School, but each one is important.

In Junior School, students are usually very happy to have parents helping at home with homework or enquiry investigations, listening to reading, or other school-based activities (and parents are often amazed at the curiosity and energy of their young learner!) Later in Junior School, and through Middle School, many or most young people become less open to parental involvement, and this tends to carry through to the end of secondary school, more’s the pity. Part of this is about the development of autonomy, part is about the uncertainty of adolescence, it may be influenced by lack of personal confidence or feelings of the need for privacy at times, and of course there is often a tendency to feel one’s parents are a little ‘past it’ when we are teenagers!

So, maintaining the triangle of parent, School and student working collaboratively together becomes more challenging for many parents as  students mature, but its importance does not wane, and in fact it possibly becomes greater for some students. Two things are key in this:

First, reflecting on my time as a parent to two Year 12 students, it is clear to me that to be able to support and assist my Year 12 (or Year 11, 10 or 9), I needed to keep the engagement, assistance, and support constant through Junior and Middle Schools, sometimes at odds with my own child’s wishes, which was a tricky challenge to navigate. I also look back and feel strongly that consistent contact and presence with classroom teachers in Junior School, subject teachers and Pastoral Mentors and Year Level Co-ordinators in secondary is/was also critical. Both these can be unpopular with children at times and balancing the maintaining of relationships with our children is also key to future connection and opportunity to support. As we often say to students about academic preparation, you can’t just turn it on at the business end of things, and partnering with our children in their learning is no different! We cannot start it in Year 12!

The second is to find and use opportunities to establish or strengthen the parent, School, child learning partnerships. This is something that has gradually become more visible in schools, and ours is no exception. I particularly think of what used to be called ‘Parent/Teacher’ meetings. Parents would meet with class or subject teachers, teachers would inform parents of the good and not so good (historically often much more of the latter, sadly) and then at some point this might then be conveyed to the student by the parent. Missing from this is the voice, understanding and shared commitment of the student. This is the reason we have moved all secondary and many of our more mature primary student year levels to ‘Student Progress Meetings’ with the student present and participating.

These meetings offer impressive potential to share achievement and progress and to discuss improvements, and for all partners to co-contribute to plans for the future. They are powerful learning tools for young people, and support effective learning partnerships that amplify outcomes for students. However, for a range of reasons, some students may be reluctant to attend. In the spirit of the power of partnerships, student attendance is what makes these so powerful. So, from the first opportunity, please strongly encourage your child to come to these and if queried, use the ‘why’ of the ‘this is why it’s a good idea’ as persuasion. They will reap the benefits to their learning and in the relationships that these meetings foster.


factis non verbis




Bradley Fry | Principal



2023 Term Dates