Happy New Year and Welcome Back!!!
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to 2018 and A.B. Paterson College. We have many new families joining us this year and I offer you a special welcome. May your time in our College be special and may you come to make wonderful friends along the journey.
The holidays have been a very busy period for our College as we have refurbished a number of classrooms in the Senior School, re-developed the Year 4 Classrooms into some of the most amazing educational spaces I have ever seen, finished construction on the new Winton Playground and commenced the demolition works associated with our new building. These many developments are, not only exciting, but, demonstrate the highest commitment from our College to provide the very best educational facilities for our students.
I hope that you may have had a chance to look at the classrooms on your way through the College this week and perhaps played on the climbing equipment in the Winton Playground, like so many of our Junior School staff who skipped a meeting to ‘have a play’ – the evidence has been captured on film and has been posted on Facebook.
Although our Academic Results Summary Booklet for 2017 will be released shortly, I would like to commence the year by commending the 2017 Year 12 cohort on achieving some of the finest results in the College’s history – a special congratulations to Rhiannon Hounslow (Dux 2017 and OP 1 Medallist). The results achieved were as follows:
OP1-5: 26 students (37.7%) (Best Result in College history)
OP1-10: 52 students (75.4%) (2nd Best Result in College history)
OP1-15: 68 students (98.6%) (2nd Best Result in College history)
OP16-20: 1 student (1.4%) (2nd Best Result in College history)
These are tremendous results and represent the finest overall academic results in our College’s history. I would like to commend our dedicated staff and students on these outstanding results. Please see our Academic Results Summary Booklet, available in a few weeks, for a more detailed discussion on these results, and the many scholarships won by our students.
The start of the year is a crucial time to set goals and I have strongly encouraged our students to do this today. I have specifically offered the following thoughts at our first Assembly:
I ask that you please talk to your child about these points and help to make them real in their world. Our students need guidance, support and encouragement and together we can achieve much.
As I saw so many students arrive this morning, I saw excitement, and I saw more than just a few tears from parents – and not just our Prep parents. Your children are growing up so fast and this is hard to see. It seems like only yesterday I was holding my baby girl and she is just about to turn 16! Enjoy these moments together – they are special.
Watching the wonderful warmth and emotion this week made me remember a beautiful poem written by a parent (not associated with our College) some time ago – Emma Robinson:
I know you're rather busy
First day back, there's just no time
A whole new class of little ones
And this one here is mine;
I'm sure you have things covered
And have done this lots before
But my boy is very little
He hasn't long turned four;
In his uniform this morning
He looked so tall and steady
But now beside your great big school
I’m not quite sure he’s ready;
Do you help them eat their lunch?
Are you quick to soothe their fears?
And if he falls and hurts his knee
Will someone dry his tears?
And what if no-one plays with him?
What if someone’s mean?
What if two kids have a fight
And he’s caught in between?
You’re right, I have to leave now
It’s time for him to go
I’m sure he’ll learn so much from you
Things that I don’t know;
Yes, I’m sure they settle quickly
That he’s fine now without me
I know he has to go to school
It’s just so fast, you see;
It seems like just a blink ago
I first held him in my arms
It’s been my job to love, to teach
To keep him safe from harm;
So, when I wave goodbye in a moment
And he turns to walk inside
Forgive me if I crumple
Into tears of loss and pride;
I know as I give him one more kiss
And watch him walk away,
That he’ll never again be wholly mine
As he was before today.
Shortly after receiving Emma’s poem, her child’s teacher, Ms Leonie Roberts responded:
I understand that you are scared
to wave your child goodbye
and leave him in a teacher’s hands
don’t worry if you cry!
I’m used to weeping parents
It’s hard to leave I know.
But it’s time to share him (just a bit)
To help him learn and grow.
Let me reassure you
That I’ll give your child my best
I’ll wipe his tears, soothe his fears
And change his dirty vest!
If your darling child is full of cold
I’ll blow their nose all day
Just like you, I’ll care for them
In a special way.
I’ll treat him like I would my own
I’ll catch him from a fall and
If there is ANY problem
I’ll be sure to tell you all.
It’s true he’ll grow to love us
They’ll talk of school a lot
It doesn’t mean they hate you
And that you should lose the plot!
I’ll tell you a secret.
That when your child is here
They talk to me as much of you
Of this please have no fear.
You’ll always be their mother
Whilst teachers come and go
To them you are their number one
This I truly know.
Soon you’ll see some changes
In your little girl or boy
They’ll become more independent
And to see this, it’s a joy!
I’ll teach them all I have to give
To share, climb and to write
But to you they safely will return
To tuck them in at night.
With love from a teacher…
For the special relationship between a parent and a child, and for the trust that exists between teacher and parent, we say thank you!
I wish all of our families a very special 2018!