28 Jun 2019

From the Head of Lindfield

I would like to start by sharing an extract of the guest speech by US Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts at his son’s school graduation. This was shared with me by one of our parents… 

….Now the commencement speakers will typically also wish you good luck and extend good wishes to you. I will not do that, and I’ll tell you why. From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either. And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion. Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.

Sometimes parents want to shield children from the hard parts of life, they want their children to be happy and experience a life where they are successful in everything they do. But if we manufacture success at every turn, then we are doing our children a disservice. 

We want our students to experience challenge, joy, sorrow, failure, hardship and happiness. The full gamut of what life has in store for all of us.

My own children often tell me life is not fair (usually because they can’t have something they want to buy). Our boys also need to realise that while life may sometimes seem unfair, it is fairer for us, in Australian society, than practically any other population in the world.

It is important that boys understand that we live in an incredibly supportive society and are given access to health, education and opportunities that are unmatched. For our boys, service learning, overseas travel and engaging with communities that are less fortunate is vital to understand their own good fortune in being born into our society.

In an educational context, the learning journey for each of our boys is never linear, their learning always consists of successes and failures.  The important thing is to recognise that when our boys fail, when life throws them a curve ball, when they face misfortune or bad luck, our boys need to take responsibility for the situation. Taking responsibility makes us really think about what happened and how to improve the situation in the future.

If we as parents deflect or make excuses, even if they are valid, then we rob ourselves and our boys of the opportunity to grow and learn from hard times. Remember, our boys will emulate what is modelled for them.

Parents need to scaffold an environment that embraces the challenging parts of life, even if it seems unfair, mean and not our fault.  We do this because we want courageous, resilient, determined boys who are excellent problem solvers, boys who get back on their feet, no matter what life may throw at them.  

So this holiday break, celebrate the successes of the term with your boys and celebrate the hard times as well. We are the sum total of our experiences, whether we chose them or not. It is our choice whether we react positively to challenging situations. It is our reactions that will define our next steps.




Ben Barrington-Higgs






Pastoral Care

Social Emotional Learning – Random Acts of Kindness

Random acts of kindness are non-premeditated, inconsistent acts designed to offer kindness towards the outside world. 

As members of any community, we can easily get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life that we often forget to think of others. 

Through the use of our Social Emotional Learning program (including Second Step and Circle Time Sessions) we explicitly teach our boys the importance of and skills for empathy, emotion management and problem solving so that our boys can become men of substance who contribute positively to society.

A small gesture of kindness can make someone else’s entire day and it can also make you feel even better as many of our boys have learnt through the picture book How full is your bucket? for kids’ written by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer.

So why not spread the kindness and try a random act of kindness today?

This poster contains some ideas to get you started and this TED talk provides an interesting insight into the concept of random acts of kindness: 

















We hope that the holiday period provides the boys with a restful break and many valuable opportunities to authentically undertake random acts of kindness!


Pascal Czerwenka – Deputy Head of Lindfield

Faith Matters

The world that we’re living in today is, in many ways, a vastly different place to anything we’ve seen before. The level of technological developments and digital progress has led to a world that is seemingly more connected and more advanced than before. The result is that our young people are growing up in a world that is quite different to anything that previous generations have experienced. The ease at which information can be accessed provides great opportunities for learning. Young people these days are greater digital natives than ever before and can access technology with the greatest of ease. I’ve seen many toddlers who can easily use an iPad to access their favourite apps and babies who’s early vocabulary includes phrases such as ‘ok google’.

This increase in technology and ease of digital communication provides infinite opportunities for young people, particularly in education. This is fantastic yet there is also a great downside to this digital age. Time and time again research shows that, although we are theoretically more connected than we have ever been before, young people are feeling a greater sense of isolation. I think we have often mistaken digital connection for genuine relationships and we find young people are crying out for genuine, face to face relationships.

At first, we might think that this is a phenomenon that affects secondary or tertiary aged young people, but the importance of genuine relationships transcends any age barrier. In Growing Young a landmark study in youth ministry out of the Fuller Youth Institute in America they highlight the need for institutions, in this case Churches, to fuel “warm communities” where young people genuinely feel valued and understood. Andrew Root, another American theologian and youth ministry practitioner, highlights the importance of forging “deep and real connections with young people so that they feel valued and understood”.

As I’ve reflected on these learnings myself, and how that might impact on what we do at Newington, I’ve found myself coming back to the Pacific Islander idea of Talanoa. In my involvement with Pacific Islander churches, through my involvement in the Uniting Church, I’ve been introduced to this idea of Talanoa and it has resonated with me more and more. It literally means ‘sitting on the mat’ but in practice it means spending the time to just sit together, to talk, to listen and to journey with each other. By doing Talanoa with each other we develop a better understanding of different perspectives and experiences and we develop genuine relationships with people.

I think this poses a genuine challenge to those of us who work with young people, be it as educators or as pastoral support. In the midst of all the demands of education, how might we provide the space to just ‘sit on the mat’ and listen and learn from the young people in our midst. But similarly, it’s a challenge for us in our family lives with young people, be it as parents, grandparents, family or friends. How might we balance the demands of our work and home lives with the need to provide space to listen and understand our young people?

As a Chaplain, I come back to the example we have from Jesus who’s focus was on developing real relationships with people. And it was through that, that those around him and by extension us today, saw the embracing love of God for all people.

My hope is that all of us might be able to find that space to develop genuine relationships with young people in our midst; perhaps over the holidays or as we come back to term. I also hope, and I think I know, that we’re already doing this in whatever our context we can. Because, although our digital world provides us, and our young people, with infinite opportunities nothing can replace a genuine, face to face, personal connection.

Let me wish all our Lindfield families a happy and safe holiday break and I look forward to another great term.

Pastor Richard La’Brooy

PYP – Exhibition and Action

Completing the third inner circle of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) there are two aspects of PYP that support agency – exhibition and action. The exhibition is an annual event that allows the senior year of our school, Year 6, to showcase their skills, learning and understanding on an issue they are passionate about that has consequence at a local or global nature. Learning in the PYP provides many formal and informal opportunities for students to demonstrate how they have developed and applied their knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills and learner profile attributes through the inquiries they undertake. The PYP exhibition is a notable example of these opportunities.

In the exhibition, students demonstrate their understanding of an issue or opportunity they have chosen to explore. They undertake their investigation both independently and with their peers with the guidance of a mentor. Through the exhibition, students demonstrate their ability to take responsibility for their learning—and their capacity to take action—as they are actively engaged in planning, presenting and assessing their learning on an issue or passion.

The exhibition is a powerful demonstration of student agency, as well as the agency of the community that has nurtured them through their years in the PYP. The learning community participates in the exhibition, supporting and celebrating the development of internationally minded students who make a positive difference in their lives and the lives of others. All exhibitions are student-initiated, designed and collaborative.

The exhibition is based on a local or global issue or opportunity, from which teachers and students develop central ideas. These issues or opportunities are open to perspectives across the transdisciplinary themes and are complex enough to be addressed through a range of subject knowledge and skills. At the beginning of the exhibition process, students and teachers extensively discuss local or global issues and opportunities that have meaning to them and connect to the school or local contexts. The students are aware that the exhibition is a collaborative inquiry involving all students in the grade group. They regularly share work in progress and demonstrate a genuine sense of participation in a collaborative effort.

Action, the core of student agency, is integral to the PYP learning process and to the programme’s overarching outcome of international mindedness. Through taking individual and collective action, students come to understand the responsibilities associated with being internationally minded and to appreciate the benefits of working with others for a shared purpose. When students see concrete actions that they can choose to take to make a difference, they see themselves as competent, capable and active agents of change (Oxfam 2015).

Action is a means for students to show that they have linked their learning to real-life issues and opportunities, and that they are developing responsible personalities and behaviours towards social and physical environments and to the community within and beyond school. Through action, students develop a sense of belonging to local and global communities. They understand and recognize the interconnectedness and interdependence of issues, and consider these from multiple perspectives (Oxfam 2015, UNESCO 2015).

Initiated by students, PYP action is authentic, meaningful, mindful, responsible and responsive. Action could be:

  • a change in attitude
  • a consideration or plan for action in the future
  • a demonstration of responsibility, or of respect for self, others and the environment
  • a commitment to leading or participating in a youth advocacy group
  • an engagement in school decision-making or an expression of support in community, local and global decision-making.

Students exercise agency by making responsible choices; these choices can sometimes include conscious decisions not to act. It may be that students take time to research and reflect upon possible courses of action and decide against taking action because of the connected consequences and potential impact on others. Students take action in response to their inquiries or motivation to make a positive difference, bring about positive change or further their learning. As an integral part of the learning process, action can be embarked upon at any point and can take many forms.

Action can be short or long term, revisited or ongoing. It may be individual or collective, small or large scale and may take place at home, at school or in local or wider communities. Some actions may not always be visible or immediately impactful; they might appear in the form of impressions left on students, or small things that go unnoticed because they are part of the daily life of the learning community.

For our younger students, action may start with small adjustments of behaviour, which may include the development of responsible behaviours towards themselves and others, and in making appropriate choices.

Action is responsive to experiences that are personally meaningful and, as with all action, is authentic, reflective and mindful.

Sue Gough – PYP Co-ordinator

Lindfield Music Concert


What an incredible evening we had last Tuesday.

The theme was inspired by “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman. Dreams can be associated with a couple of things – dreaming while you are asleep and also your dreams – what you would like to do. This concert encompassed both meanings and a little bit more.

Having every boy in the school performing on the stage is a wonderful experience. Kindergarten and Year 1 boys sang in the whole school items at the beginning and end of the concert and joined Year 2 boys singing “Walk the Dinosaur”. There were lots of laughs learning this song, especially with the actions.

Year 2 boys had their musical debut playing their string instruments for a large audience for the very first time. This is the year that boys start learning an instrument and all that this means – the reading of music, the practice that needs to be done, the playing in an ensemble (playing together and listening to each other).

Years 3 and 4 both have a class instrument ensemble that they were in as well as singing “Pure Imagination” together. It was lovely hearing the sweetness of their voices singing this classic song from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory talking about possibilities. When they began learning this, I asked them to make a list of things that they would like to do and there was no limit with their imaginations. You should ask them if they remember what they thought of.

Some boys in Years 5 and 6 were in a number of ensembles as well as the combined choir who sang Avicii’s “Wake Me Up”. It was a lot of fun getting this together with the instrumental ensemble as well as a small group of iPad players.

Year 5 also played their Wind and Brass Instruments in two ensembles. Some of the Year 5 boys have also just started learning an instrument for the first time and they too are realising what this means – in particular, regular practice!

It is always a joy for me seeing the enjoyment on the boys’ faces at this concert. The sense of achievement and inclusion is a wonderful feeling. The boys had fun at the concert and I am hoping you also enjoyed watching them, listening to them and seeing the musical journey they are on or are starting on.

Vanessa South – Music Co-ordinator

Respectful Relationships

Collaboration with the International Grammar School and St Catherine’s Girls School

The boys at Lindfield learn to develop respectful relationships in many ways, including through our social skills program, Second Step, and our focus on being a White Ribbon School (addressing the issue of domestic violence). To empower boys to become men of substance and resilience who make an active and positive contribution to society, we need to teach our boys the importance of building, appreciating and maintaining respectful relationships.

Again this year, the boys in Year 5 have been participating in collaboration with the International Grammar School and St Catherine’s Girls School to further develop their understanding and application of the concept of a respectful relationship. So far, this collaboration has seen our boys interact both online (through Skype and Google Docs) and in person as they explore the concept of respect and how this relates to contemporary social justice issues. The Mystery Skype session saw the boys and girls ask closed questions to find out each other’s school. There were many interesting questions asked and, in 5W, and we discovered each others identity at exactly the same time. 5B skyped with the children from IGS and 5W the girls at St. Catherine’s.

Earlier this term, we hosted boys and girls at Lindfield, spending the day in sessions involving problem-solving, drama and sporting activities. These were a great success as was lunch in Swain Gardens where everyone played together really well. Later in the year, the groups will collaborate on a joint excursion to promote respectful relationships.

The boys have found interacting with other students and schools a rewarding experience and have enjoyed the opportunity to build new friendships with the students at the International Grammar School and St Catherine’s Girls School. This valuable initiative, along with our work with Cromehurst School, is helping our boys to build and develop respectful relationship in our boys.

Philip Trethewey – Year 5 Teacher

Year 1

As part of our current Unit of Inquiry on systems, Year One and Year Two have been collaborating to design, test and create chain reaction. The boys used dominoes and marbles, along with other chosen objects from around the classroom for their designs, testing to find ways that their chosen objects could function as parts of a moving system. Their investigations have led to new knowledge about push and pull forces and developed their understanding of the idea that the parts of a system are interdependent.

Our main skill focus has been communication. Throughout the unit, the boys have been working on developing their communication skills. They have been required to share their ideas, listen actively to the ideas of other boys, delegate tasks and present their work to their peers. They have also had to compromise and resolve disagreements to move forward with their design process and create a working system. The boys quickly realised that creating a chain reaction machine can be very challenging and at times, frustrating (one bump of the elbow can quickly send the whole system into motion, unintentionally!). In light of this, it has been a pleasure to watch the boys working hard at practising their communication skills, clearly expressing their opinions, ideas and acknowledging those of other boys. Well done Stage One!

Ms Hilder – Year 1 Teacher


Sporting Successes

As I considered the happenings in Lindfield sport over the last few weeks, there were a number of great sporting successes that were nothing to do with scorelines, but were about building community, understanding, compassion and leadership.

The Mini Olympics was an absolutely phenomenal day with athletes and support staff from the Special Olympics coming to celebrate the day with the boys. The day started with an assembly including a rendition of “This is me”  sung by the Lindfield boys with a dance accompaniment from two of the Special Olympics Athletes and a recount from one of the athletes of her recent trip overseas to compete. When the boys moved to participate in the activities, the leadership and maturity of Year 6 boys was on show with carefully considered activities prepared for the younger boys. The were smiles and laughs all around as the boys experienced a range of Special Olympics Sports.

Finally, at the end of the day, to find that the Lindfield Community had raised over $17,000 was just incredible!

Last weekend, the Year 6 rugby teams were asked to be a part of Barker College’s Indigenous Round for all their different sports. Where our boys usually participate in the Rugby 7s Competition, this was to be a traditional 15-a-side game, a first taste for many of the boys. The boys rose to the challenge like champions! After a brief ceremony on the field, the game was on and despite Barker scoring first, the Lindfield boys brought their 7s experience, moving the ball left and right across the field to find the gaps in the line, scoring 4 tries to Barker’s 2 and winning 22-14. Whilst it was great to get the win on the scoreboard, the bigger wins on the day were the chance to celebrate the Indigenous Custodians of the land and the way that the Year 6 boys worked together and supported each other on the field to produce an amazing whole team performance.

Today the Stage 3 boys finished the term with a trip to see the Wheelchair Rugby National Championships. I think that many of the boys were amazed by the strength, grit and resilience shown by the athletes in extreme physical games. It was brilliant to be able get behind the Wheelchair Athletes as they represented their states. 

“Our vision is everyone in NSW can enjoy the benefits of sport alongside each other.” Wheelchair Sports NSW.

Looking forward to Term 3, we have both the Primary and Junior Primary Athletics Carnivals where we compete with the Wyvern boys, Back to Newington Day which is a great chance to enjoy being in community with the Wyvern boys and the older boys at their families at the Stanmore Campus and we will finish the Winter Sport Season with Barrack for a Buddy Day where all of the Year 5 and 6 Students will invite their Kindergarten and Year 1 Buddies to come and cheer them on as they represent Newington in AFL, Football and Rugby for the last time this year.

The final sporting success this term has been the Mammoth effort of the Sporting Committee running the barbecue at Koola Park each week. There have been some very chilly mornings but they greet all the Lindfield families as well as our 15 visiting schools with such a warm energy and tasty breakfasts week in and week out. Thank you so much to the committee! Your efforts are so appreciated!

I hope that all of the boys and families enjoy an active and relaxing break, and look forward to many more sporting successes next term.

Eliza Larkin – Sports Co-ordinator

Holiday Activities / Games

Holidays – a break for all but with our children there are benefits to keeping young minds tuned into routines, reading, maths and learning outside four walls.

Playing games with your children is a perfect way to spend some quality time together while at the same time consolidating skills, using social skills and having fun.

Allowing time for board games helps practice cognitive skills such as problem solving, speeds up our response time, helps develop logic and reasoning skills and can increase our spatial reasoning. With games such as Monopoly and Scrabble we are consolidating spelling choices, enhancing our general knowledge and practising social skills such as turn taking and losing graciously.

What do our children want more than anything? They want someone to play with, someone to listen to them and someone to have fun with.

What do we as parents want? We want to develop our children’s verbal and communication skills, increase attention skills to encourage concentration and focus for longer periods of time and to activate our children’s imagination while recharging their batteries during the holiday break in a stress free homework free environment.

In addition playing games with our children allows us to spend quality time together, offers great learning opportunities, can satisfy competitive urges, offers opportunities to master new skills and gives endless possibilities for social skills to be practised and young minds to be guided especially in how to loose with a smile!.

Learning opportunities through games can cover number, shape, patterns, counting, general knowledge, spelling, letter and sight word recognition, reading with a purpose, strategy development, hand eye co-ordination and fine motor skills.

Communication skills such as engaging your children in conversation, sharing interests, turn taking, verbal communication, winning gracefully and expanding your child’s attention span can all develop through participation and completion of games in a relaxed holiday atmosphere.


Snakes and Ladders – counting forwards and backwards / direction

Dominoes – number patterns

Cooking – measurement within the recipe / shopping list – (paying $ / c) / healthy foods

Blokus – a strategy game for all ages, spatial awareness, number

Jenga – patterns, strategies, fine motor skills

Monopoly – counting, following directions, strategy

Reading / Spelling / Vocabulary

Read for fun

Start a novel together and take it in turns to write a chapter

Maps – follow your trip on a road map or world map / give directions for a trip or a local walk / read the street signs

Recipes – reading, following directions, measurement

Scrabble – spelling

Snap – sight words, spelling words

Boggle – spelling, vocabulary

Have their own shopping list and trolley to help in the supermarket

Design a menu for the family dinner – shop and work out the cost


Write the family Christmas cards in advance

Keep a holiday diary


Use your computer skills to find some interesting local activities

Log on to the Museum or Art Gallery and find activities you would like to attend.

Keep a weather map for the holidays – create your own weather symbols

Find the cheapest mode of transport from A to B – cost of train from one place to another – work out how much it would cost to get to Manly from your house by ferry, train, bus or car….


Write yourself an exercise program to share with the family

Practise a new skill each day

Play Twister with a friend

Plan a walk through an area not usually visited such as over the Harbour Bridge, down along the city side of the Harbour around the Opera House and up through the Botanical Gardens where they can release some energy and view the surrounds.

Add a picnic to your park visit.

Another popular trip is to cross the Harbour by ferry across to Manly with a run along the beach before heading back across the water.

Encourage your children to take a sketch book to draw things that attract them or perhaps they can take a camera and put a presentation together for grandparents.

Creative Activities

Create your own birthday cards / gift cards

Create a colouring book for a younger sibling or friend with your drawings

On large paper, potato print your own wrapping paper and print matching cards onto cardboard

Plant and care for a vegetable plot


Happy holidays to all…. Remember a balance of structured and non structured activities is good for both you and your children.

Holidays give us the bonus of time to encourage creative opportunities….

And finally….

Quiet time – is equally important for all….

Happy holidays

Katrina James – Learning Enhancement


Lunchtime Drawing Club in the Art Room

There is a hive of activity in the Art room, lunchtime Tuesdays! The Kindergarten boys often call it ‘chew and draw’ as they often need a little longer to finish their lunch. Lunchboxes in hand they arrive ready and eager to participate in Drawing Club. 

The simple act of drawing does indeed play an important role in a child’s physical, emotional, and cognitive development. Like no other activity, drawing allows young children to express emotions, experience autonomy, and build confidence.

I love hearing the stories they share from their drawings at the end of the session. Drawing lets their imagination run wild and it’s so much fun delving into creative thinking.

All the boys have a range of explanations to why Drawing Club is so popular at lunchtimes:

  • ‘I like drawing club because I get to draw with my friends Alfred and Leo. We draw our Chinese characters and my friends help me draw.’ Justin (Kindy)
  • ‘I like drawing stuff because I like the stuff that I am drawing. I draw dolphins and seals. I draw at home too because I want to make puppets out of the stuff that I draw.’ Beau (Kindy)
  • It’s fun when I draw. At the moment I like drawing chameleons. Sometimes I draw dragons. I like drawing the things I like’. Elliot (Kindy)
  • ‘I like drawing because I like making my own creations. I like making monsters and I use my brain and my imagination. I create a super drill that can drill two thousand million trillion. It can drill super deep and find dinosaur fossils.’ Thomas (Kindy)
  • ‘I like to draw a dinosaur because it can breathe fire. You can change anything you want when you’re drawing. You can change a lion to a tiger. I like drawing everything.’ Austin (Kindy)
  • ‘Drawing makes me draw better. I want to draw really good so I can be an illustrator.’ Younghoon (Kindy)
  • ‘I like being an artist, like Picasso, he is really good. He makes people stay in a pose for about an hour. You can learn how to draw and its fun drawing because you can draw anything you like. You get to practice your drawing in drawing club.’ Christian. H. (Year 2).

As you can tell from the boy’s comments drawing is a magical experience when you are a youngster. There is no limit to your imagination when drawing. Drawing helps enhance the development of their brain by putting all parts of the brain to work. The left side of the brain is usually responsible for facilitating logical thinking while the right side is for creativity.

People draw to heal, to tell stories, to express joy, hate, love, loss, they draw to escape. This is what I like about drawing and creativity. Because it helps us grow and be a better version of ourselves.

Kylie Bain – Art Teacher