From the Head of Preparatory Years

Welcome by the Head of Preparatory Years

At times, it is easy to take for granted just how special this school is. In our town, there are a myriad of choices when it comes to the schooling of our young people. It is difficult to distil the essence of what makes a great school - a school that knows every child. TACAPS knows every child and everything we do is focussed upon the improvement of every child - academically, socially, emotionally and physically. On a daily basis, it can "look" like this.

Morning activities centre around our beautiful Cape Chestnut tree. As I welcome students and parents to school each morning, this central heart of our school is either being played around, sat upon, sung under or protecting our students from the weather. Just like the students, it grows and changes with the seasons but is always the central heart of our school. It is important that schools have a central heart as it brings our community together and gives us a sense of belonging. Not every school has a heart. TACAPS does.

Around this central heart, I hear the voices of happy children. At times, not just happy but excited, thrilled, eager and boisterous. As I shake hands and receive a warm “Morning Mr Locke” and smile, I think about each student and what they bring to our school. Their sense of individuality, pride, engagement, fun and eagerness to learn all they can on any given day. Their beautiful uniforms are a physical manifestation of the pride they have in their school and as I fix a cap or re-tie a tie, the conversations that follow are warm, interesting and genuine. Students are interested in me and my life and I am interested in theirs. Not every school is interested in their students’ lives. TACAPS is.

As I walk into classrooms each morning, I hear and see teachers committed to their profession. Teaching is a profession that demands commitment. I see the results of long hours of planning, evaluation and feedback enacted in front of me. Skilled individuals that engage small minds in the art of learning. Year 1 students learning to read through direct reading instruction and exposure to beautiful texts, makes my heart sing. Observing a teacher carefully weaving her questioning to help Year 3 students discuss the intent of authors and how characters in texts may be stereotyped, makes me proud to be an educator. Supporting a teacher late into the evening to scaffold their questioning because one of their students is struggling to understand, makes me excited to view the outcomes. Not every school employs teachers who are committed, caring and highly skilled. TACAPS will.

As I spend time in the playground each morning tea and lunchtime, I hear the voices and conversations of students and adults. Boarder boys friendly “ribbing” each other over a game of handball – like a group of brothers. Both sexes playing easily and naturally with each other, unconsciously learning how each other’s minds tick. Foundation students running around the long legs of our College students, enjoying the company and excitement that big brothers and sisters bring. Teachers interacting with students naturally, conversing with them and showing interest in their lives. Disagreements being solved rationally because children have been taught, shown and given the responsibility and trust to do so. Executive members visible in the school, not locked away in offices removed from the students they support. Not every school explicitly builds relationships with their students and families. TACAPS does.

TACAPS is a special place. I look forward to welcoming you into our family.

Mr Jason Locke
Head of Preparatory Years