Window with a View - Week 5, Term 4, 2018
We had quite a week of unusual events in Week 5, and thankfully we all came through without injury. It began with a minor bus accident on the way to school Monday morning, and from there we continued to have minor hitches with technology for a few days. On a brighter note, the academic year switch over in high school went smoothly and we welcomed four new students to Korowal, and the primary play is well into rehearsals.
A highlight of the week was the Year 12 Graduation Dinner at The Carrington Dining Room on Tuesday night. As is our tradition parents, siblings, grandparents and friends attended with our graduates. Their elegance was met by the venues grandeur, encapsulating the past, and present as we launched our graduates into their futures. It was a beautiful family affair and our final farewell to eighteen families, many of whom assisted us with our move from Leura and all of whom have enriched our time in Hazelbrook. Thank you all.
Our tribute to Steve Garthwin, as he leaves Korowal and moves towards retirement.
Steve came to Korowal in 2004 when Mark was School Coordinator and could no longer find the time to take Science classes. His application for the position arrived at 3.59pm for a 4.00pm deadline.
When Steve left Springwood High they really didn’t want him to go and it very quickly became apparent to us why he was so highly valued. Over 14 years at Korowal he has taught Physics, Chemistry, junior science, Maths, Sport, Personal Development. He has also been a Year Coordinator, Pathways Coordinator, High school Coordinator, Work Health and safety Officer and Director on the school board.
As many of you know, Steve teaches through storytelling. He is a great raconteur, and the perfect WHS officer for the school because of his adventures, from breaking his back on falling through a dodgy floor when he was a pest controller, to crawling through a nuclear reactor: from North pole adventures on a dog sled to leading an expedition to Mt Everest. It wouldn’t take much to prompt a response such as ‘have I told you about the time I went swimming with whales off the coast of Thailand?’ or ‘that reminds me of the time I……’.
Window with a View - Week 3, Term 4
In Week 3, I had the privilege of attending a reunion of graduates of the Flagship Leadership Program run by the Association of Independent Schools. Re-acquainting with fellow students from our 2013 class, and meeting graduates from the subsequent five groups, we reflected on the driving principles underpinning leadership and what we had gained from this Flagship experience. Over a period of twelve months we had each embarked on an inner and outer journey towards authentic leadership through reflection, rigorous review of academic theory, conversations, Principal shadowing experiences, coaching and workshops. Maintaining our moral purpose, our values and our School’s mission, while understanding ourselves as leaders, is the ongoing challenge for all School Principles and Deputies. While we do trip up, we are all stronger for the experience.
So, I am delighted to announce that Bec, our Primary Coordinator and DP, has been accepted into the AIS Flagship Course for 2019.
Years 5 and 6
This week we held our first planning meeting to gauge interest from parents and children from Years 5 and 6, 2018, regarding a potential visit to Hangzhou and our sister school in China in April 2019. At this early stage, there are enough people for it to proceed and therefore for us to roll into the next stage of planning. A parent is welcome to attend with each child (but this is not essential), so our resident Chinese PhD student from Western Sydney University, Bing, will soon commence Mandarin language sessions for our parents. Bing will also increase the Mandarin exchanges and classes she is having with Years 5 and 6 so that they tune in to the inflections and gain confidence in simple exchanges.
High School prepares for Academic Year changes this week.
This coming Week 4 will be the final week of classes before our high school students change academic years. As we do the compressed model of delivery of our HSC, which we refer to as ‘Pathways’, Year 11 subjects commence in Week 6 of this term. In preparation for this the other years, 7 to 10, also shift up a year this term, but they do so at the start of Week 5 so that we can all settle into the new timetable and so that teachers can prepare for the new cycle of subjects they will take for HSC from Week 6.
This means that Week 4 provides two staff development days for high school teachers. Students will attend school from Monday to Wednesday, and Year 10 students will undertake their exams on these days, before all students in high school have Thursday and Friday as a mid-term break, to return refreshed and ready for their new programs.
In week 5, Years 11 and 12 will come together for the first time as the new Pathways group. We will enjoy a week of mentoring, studentship workshops and discussions where the new Year 12 cohort will share their experiences of Cycle 1 and the HSC, as well as their newfound wisdom. We are relieved to announce that we will have only one timetable rather than the three Cycles A, B, and C which we had previously when we ran Focus Studies.
Welcoming new students
As this is a new start, we will also welcome three new students to Korowal over the next two weeks. We welcome Matilda into Year 8, and Joseph and Luca to Year 11. It is worth letting friends who may be considering Korowal for 2019 know that we have a high school intake over the next two weeks. It is sometimes easier to start at a new school when others are starting at the same time.
It may also be less stressful to change before the long Summer holidays so that the students make connections and begin to forge new friendships, rather than become anxious about the change over the holidays. We all thrive when we feel we belong, so placing ourselves in the new environment, experiencing the culture and meeting new people close on leaving one’s previous community, can alleviate potential separation anxiety at times of change.
On Wednesday afternoon at our Assembly, we will be honouring Steve Garthwin and thanking him for all he has brought to us over his years at Korowal. This assembly starts at 2.20pm with school business and will move to farewell Steve around 2.50pm. You are welcome to come along.
RSVP’s would be greatly appreciated on 4758 7466.
Finally I will leave you with a gem from a member of the public this week.
‘I had to let you know this...
Korowal kids waiting for the train... so calm and sweet and they talk to each other with kindness and interest.
They give me hope for the future!’
Thank you to all of our students, teachers, school assistants and parents who model these values and encourage kindness.