As we pass the halfway point of the first school term, I reflect on all the wonderful learning that has taken place over the last five weeks! The school has been alive with chatter and the business of learning inside and outside the classrooms.

As I have wandered around the classrooms, I have witnessed our fabulous teaching staff providing excellent opportunities for wonderment and exploration. There have been many school excursions where the children have been out and about learning outdoors. The Year 6 surfing classes have been a particular hit with the students and staff lucky enough to participate.

We have had some wonderful assemblies delivered by the class teachers and their enthusiastic students around important subjects like friendship and family. The Year 1 group delighted us with their newfound knowledge of the night sky, which was gained from their recent trip to Scitech. During this assembly, we also had some special visitors to the school from the Rotary Club of Freshwater Bay – Associate Professor Stephanie Rainey-Smith and Dr Wesley Rigg. They came to present the school with a Peace Pole to represent the United Nations International Day of Peace (World Peace Day) which takes place on Thursday, 21st September 2023. The Peace Pole will be erected in the Quintilian school grounds and become part of an annual ceremony to mark World Peace Day.

At the end of the visit Dr Rigg, who is a renowned child psychiatrist with many years of varied service in education, stayed behind and chatted with Rebecca Potts, Rachel Tierney and me. During our conversations, he commented that the assembly had been a joy to watch and had taken him back many years to his time in primary school. He remarked how wonderful the school community was and how relaxed and welcomed he had felt whilst at the school. Dr Rigg certainly had many complimentary remarks to make about Quintilian School!

Another remarkable facet of our school is the bountiful vegetable garden that has been so kindly tendered by Damon Buckley for several years. Damon has volunteered countless hours to ensure the garden is well-kept and produces abundant fresh vegetables. As Damon and his family move onto pastures new and take on an exciting challenge internationally, we wish to thank him for his invaluable contribution to the school. Our parent helpers are some of our most treasured assets!

We would like to continue the incredible work that Damon has injected into the garden and are looking for volunteers to start a gardening club. This could be a coffee and catch-up with friends to tend the garden a few mornings/afternoons per term or more, should anyone be an avid gardener. Please contact the school reception should you be interested in being involved.

In closing, for me personally, the last five weeks have gone extremely quickly. I have been welcomed by the whole community. I have also been shown the greatest compassion and understanding, for which I am entirely grateful. I look forward to the next five weeks and the wonderful experiences they will bring.

Kind regards,

Julie Murray