Heads Up

Welcome to Heads Up, your one-stop source for news about your son’s upcoming activities and events.

Message from Tom Babits, head, Primary Division

Tom BabitsDear parents,

Please be reminded that the first formal school report on your son’s progress will be released next week. We’re aiming for Tuesday, so please look for an email.

As I hope you recall, there are many changes to this year’s report. We won’t be sending a hard copy home. You’ll be viewing the report online. Additionally, following an extensive review process, we’ve clarified our assessment practices. This has resulted in changes to the wording of expectations and levels, as well as to how some of the comments will read. We hope that you find the reports reflect his achievement levels and next steps with greater clarity.

Learning is a dynamic process through which each student moves at his own pace, and the report card is a means of providing parents with information on the progress of their child. It’s also useful for the student to reflect on his learning and formulate goals. Your son will complete a reflection page with your assistance.

Some students may be happy and keen to read their reports, while others may be anxious. Some boys become nervous about how their parents will react, sometimes because they fear they haven’t met their parents’ expectations.

I offer these suggestions to guide you through the process:

  • Choose a quiet, uninterrupted time with your son to review his report card and spend time reading it with him. Look at the teachers’ comments carefully and discuss strengths, areas that need improvement, and next steps for learning. Give him an opportunity to share his thoughts, concerns and challenges with you.
  • Don’t hesitate to contact your son’s Form teacher or subject teachers if you’ve questions about his report card.
  • Finally, we want to build on character strengths that lead to success. Therefore, we shouldn’t be judgmental in our reaction to the report card. This would be counter-productive for your son’s learning. Instead, we should communicate in a growth mindset way with a focus on practice, study, persistence and good strategies. Congratulate your son for his effort.
  • I hope you find these suggestions helpful and I welcome any comments you may have.

Today at assembly, students were treated to a presentation by parent and Old Boy Fred Eaton. He told them the tale of the famous Franklin Expedition, and his own tale of being part of the team that discovered the wreck this past summer. It was a fascinating, engaging presentation. Perhaps you can ask your son about it?

Finally, you may have noticed that the hardworking earthscape construction crew has stopped working, even though the construction fencing is still up. The reason is that we’re still awaiting some approvals on our two climbing structures. These are imminent, but this has postponed the opening to mid- to late-January. It will be worth the wait.

There is less than a full week left until early dismissal (11:40 a.m.), next Thursday for the holiday break. I wish your families a wonderful and safe holiday.

Sincerly,
Tom