In this newsletter
Mr Frank Monagle
Ash Wednesday Mass
Mr Paul Murphy
Teaching and Learning
Miss Jenny Hoare
From the Chaplain
Fr Paul Grant
Mr Paul Murphy
History of the Ancient World
Mr James Landon
Special Events & News
Mr Ian Mejia
Dr Emma Wood
Dear Parents and Friends,
What a whirlwind start to the year! It has finally come together and Hartford College is underway. I trust that this is the beginning of a wonderful future for the College, its first parents and students, and the many generations of families and boys in the years that will follow.
The commencement has been relatively plain sailing perhaps because of the level of experience of the teaching staff. With boys coming from a variety of schools, there have been some settling in issues as they get used to our expectations. Outside the classrooms, it has been great to see the boys getting along so well. Hand ball is the perennial favourite.
Preparation for NAPLAN, which is much earlier this year, and is all online, is underway. Of course, it involves all except Year 6.
The first week closed with the Official Opening and Blessing with Archbishop Anthony Fisher. He and Chairman Tim Mitchell both spoke of the vision for Hartford that we hope to bring to fruition in the days and years ahead. It is a joy to work with other educators who see the big picture.
But we are now faced with the reality that these pioneering boys have come from a variety of schools, and each has a story to tell us. We are discovering gaps in their learning here and there and developing strategies to bring them all along. Patience and perseverance will be needed. I wish to encourage all parents to encourage the boys with the tasks set for homework and above all, do all you can to promote their reading; both prescribed texts and other quality literature.
Mentoring is now underway. We have preferred not to take the boys out of class during the introductory days. Your son's mentor will be in touch soon to set up this term's meeting.
As I said at the Official Opening, I want to thank all those who have made the establishment of the College possible especially the parents who have shown such faith in the ideas and ideals that we have promised for Hartford.
Teaching & Learning
It has been an exciting and industrious start to the academic year for Years 5 and 6. The students are enjoying developing new friendships, adapting well to their new school routines, and enthusiastically embracing the wonderful opportunities that Hartford College offers.
Recently the students prepared for the Season of Lent by learning about the history of Shrove Tuesday. Traditionally, Shrove Tuesday was the last chance for indulgence for Christians by using their left-over eggs, butter, and milk before the start of Lent. The class have learnt the relevance of prayer, sacrifice, almsgiving and fasting as ways to renew their hearts to show their devotion to their faith and prepare for the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. After receiving the ashes at our Ash Wednesday Mass, each student made a
Lenten promise to show their love and commitment to Christ during this forty-day period. Later in the term, we plan to prepare a beautiful Easter basket for a raffle to support Caritas Project Compassion.
Term One has been action-packed with the introduction to our literary classics, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Magician’s Nephew. The students thoroughly enjoy reading these vivid stories in class, where their imagination is heightened through rich vocabulary and adventure whilst learning about friendship, truth and goodness.
The class is also enjoying delving deeply into the people that shaped the Australian Colonies and the key events that led to Australia’s Federation. They are also learning about Animal and Plant Adaptations in Science and Factors that Shape Places in Geography.
It has been a fantastic term thus far for Years 5 and 6, and I commend the students for their enthusiasm for learning and exceptional efforts in class. I look forward to sharing our rich learning experiences as the year progresses.
History of the Ancient World
In History, students have completed an overview of the Ancient World, learning about the first homosapiens and how factors such as changing climates, scarcity of resources and war have contributed to human evolution.
Students have begun to understand how these fundamental needs have informed the progress of mankind to develop from nomadic tribes into the empires and civilizations of Antiquity.
Students have also begun to experience what it means to be a historian, developing their skills in interpreting archaeological findings and source analysis, and how these disciplines have contributed to the formation of the ‘out of Africa’ theory which we use today.
Moving forward, students will begin to apply their historical skills to some of the major ancient civilizations, investigating their societal values, most influential events, and how they have evolved over time.
Special Events & News
The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is a point in time assessment of literacy and numeracy skills. Each year students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 participate in tests for writing, reading, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy.
From 2023, NAPLAN is moving to Term 1 and will take place from Wednesday 15 March to Monday 27 March. The reason for this change is so that results can be returned to schools earlier in the year which will support teachers to understand the learning needs of their students and plan accordingly.
NAPLAN tests are just one part of our school learning assessment program and questions are primarily based on knowledge, understanding and skills gained from the prior year of schooling.
In preparation for NAPLAN 2023, our school will undertake activities to help students to become familiar with the format and functionality of the online tests. These activities are not an assessment of student ability and will not be marked.
Students and parents can access the public demonstration site (https://www.nap.edu.au/online-assessment/public-demonstration-site) to familiarise themselves with NAPLAN and the types of questions and tools available. Excessive preparation for NAPLAN is not required nor recommended.
Ash Wednesday Mass
On Ash Wednesday, 22 February, Hartford students attended St. Michael's Catholic Church to mark the beginning of Lent.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, ending with the celebration of Easter Sunday. Lent is a time of preparation, repentance and reflection.
Ash Wednesday reminds us that we make mistakes, and also provides an opportunity to seek God's forgiveness, and in turn, forgive others.
During the Ash Wednesday mass, Fr Paul Grant, Chaplain, Hartford College, placed a cross, made of ashes, on the students’ foreheads, and reminded us that we "are dust and to dust we shall return".
Throughout Lent we are invited to increase our prayer, abstinence and almsgiving until the celebration of Easter.
We hope this will be a thoughtful and prayerful time for our students and our school community.
From the Chaplain
It was good to see all the students and teachers at the Ash Wednesday Mass and receive the Ashes.
It reminds us that we will one day become ashes; practically nothing, and that God is everything.
Although now we are already something and have to become even more.
As I said in the homily at the Mass, praying really does help us to improve. It is the way to get close to God. Whenever we feel a bit down, hurt, lonely, or we have been mean: we can say, "Sorry my God! I know that I am not close enough to you. Help me be close to you”.
This will certainly bring peace to our soul.
I am looking forward to being part of the school, a small part, but will try to visit Hartford College a couple of times during the week.
I have lived in this part of the Eastern Suburbs for many years and this Educational Initiative is the best thing that has ever happened here!
As always, keeping you and your families and all your activities in mind.
Dear parents, as you are already aware, our school admin management system is Compass and there is an app that you can download onto your phone (see link below) for easy access.
On it, you can pay fees, order extra uniform (once the uniform shop is fully set up), notify us of absences, etc.
If you have any problems with accessing your account, have navigational questions or trouble downloading the app, please don’t hesitate to contact Marie.
Click on the link: Compass for Parents
Hartford College is delighted to announce the establishment of its Chess Club, led by Dr Emma Wood.
Chess, with its long and rich history, is one of the world’s most played games.
The game inspires critical thinking, strategic thought, develops memory, cultivates patience and enhances problem-solving skills – not bad for a board game.
Players not only enjoy a simulated battle - they also learn to win or lose graciously.
Appreciating the consequences from each move and predicting the opponent's response are also important life skills.
The Chess Club will be starting soon and would love if you registered your son to participate.
Please click the link: Register for Chess Club
THE HART is Hartford College's newsletter for parents and students. Here you will receive all the latest news for what is happening around the school.
The name 'THE HART' refers to a mature stag of more than five years old. Its use is now considered in a more poetic form deriving from the Middle English word hert.
The word hart can be found in many classic texts such as the Old English epic Beowulf, which names Hrothgar's royal hall Heorot after the Danish word hjort meaning "deer".
J. R. R. Tolkien uses the word hart in his book The Hobbit, especially in the scenes traveling through Mirkwood Forest.
Shakespeare's uses the word in his plays, particularly the Twelfth Night as a pun between 'hart' and 'heart'.
It is in the spirit of these great works that we decided to name our newsletter THE HART since we want our boys to grow into mature and wise men like a faun grows into the stag or hart.
This newsletter will go to the heart of what is happening at our school by sharing news, stories and events.