The Life Newsletter

Junior School – T2 W6 2024

Fostering Empathy Through Multicultural Exploration

Over the past two weeks in Junior School, we have been thinking and wondering about what school life is like for children who are growing up in a variety of different cultures. We thought about the different cultural groups represented in each grade, chose one culture and then spent some time investigating certain aspects of that culture. We made some artworks, learned a dance or song, and did some research into what school life is like for children in that culture. We also investigated the way celebrations happen in that culture. We learned a lot of things! We captured all our wonderings, questions, learnings, artworks and dance experiences and created a display to share with the rest of the College.

On Thursday last week, Prep to Year 6 students gathered to watch a presentation of African drumming and then Bollywood dancing. This was both entertaining and interesting. There was lots of laughter, clapping and student (and even some teacher) participation. Then everyone enjoyed a picnic lunch with their families – we were very blessed with beautiful weather, before having the opportunity to tour the displays. On Friday, each students received a Passport, which they took with them as they visited each display with their class. The passports had specific questions for students to answer about what they were seeing, and a stamp that represented each culture. There was much learning happening over the different days and broadened the understanding of our students. Greater understanding of others builds empathy, and this was the goal of the experience. Our first Multicultural Expo was a great start, and we are looking forward to building on this event for next year.

Empathy is what enables us to relate to other people and their experiences. It’s what enables us to understand them and it’s what makes us compassionate. So it’s little wonder why it’s so integral to the social experience of schooling and childhood.

But empathy is not innate — it’s learnt, and like most things, it’s best learnt during childhood – and the best teachers are adults.

Empathy yields kindness, which is a quality most parents hope to instil in their children, and part of the source of this kindness is courage. Courage to stand up for ourselves and others.

In a psychology study of 900 11-13 year olds, children with higher levels of empathy were more likely to engage in ‘assertive bystander behaviour’ — that is, they were more likely to stand up to a bully on behalf of someone outside of their friendship group. This kind of courage can be life changing for a child who is feeling isolated at school or being bullied but doesn’t have the courage to stand up for themselves.

People with empathy have stronger personal connections and more meaningful, supportive relationships, but it’s not purely an emotional matter… Empathy is an integral part of social and emotional learning. Research shows that social and emotional learning is crucial in navigating the many challenges (social or otherwise) that occur during schooling, and that can inhibit our ability to learn. A 2013 research report states that social and emotional learning ‘involves the processes through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions’. So, it’s clear that empathy is a not just a positive personal quality — it’s an ongoingly beneficial life skill and therefore an important focus area for students at our College.

God bless, 

Mrs Jenny Squire
Deputy Principal – Head of Junior School



The Winter IPSSO season continued during Weeks 5 and 6. In Week 5, we played against St Gregs, who is always a tough opponent. Our teams played with good sportsmanship and fought bravely. However, St. Gregs won all the games except for the Senior Boys Soccer team, who won 6-2! In Week 6, we played against St Peters Anglican Grammar School. Well done to all our teams, who won their games while showing kindness to each other and their opposition!

K-2 College Sport

K-2 has enjoyed doing Zumba with the ever-energetic Miss Sarah over the last two weeks! Zumba develops many fundamental movement skills in students, including jumping and skipping, and also gives students an appreciation of many different dance styles.  

3-6 College Sport

This week, our Year 3-6 students began learning hockey skills from an expert coach and soccer skills from our teachers. These skills will be very useful for them as they develop their sporting skills and prepare to participate in the House Cup at the end of the term.

CSSA State Cross Country

On Friday, Week 3, 30 Junior School students represented the College at the CSSA State Cross Country Carnival! Seeing our students giving their race maximum effort was great, as they competed against around 200 students in each race! Congratulations to Lucas and Jack, who finished in the top 10 and qualified for the CIS Cross Country Carnival.

CSSA and CIS Nominations

From time to time, the College can nominate some of our exceptional athletes to trial for CSSA or CIS representative teams. These teams are selected for high level representative competitions, drawing from almost 100 schools across NSW. If you would like the College to nominate your child for one of these events, please follow the procedure below:

  1. Go to the CSSA website to see the list and dates of these trials (
  2. Email me (, expressing your child’s interest, background, and skills in the sport
  3. If they fit the requirements of the trials, I will nominate them to attend 
  4. Attend the trials with your child

Upcoming Events

Week 7

Wednesday (12/6)

  • IPSSO training at 7.45 am for all students selected in an IPSSO team.
  • IPSSO games against Macarthur Anglican School. All sports at MAS. Junior games begin at 11.30 am, and senior games start at 1 pm.
Week 8

Monday (17/6):

  • CSSA Zone Boys Soccer and Girls Netball Gala Days. Bus leaves at 7.20am from the College for selected students.

Wednesday (19/6):

  • IPSSO BYE- no morning training. Students will train with their teams during normal College Sport time.

God bless, 

Mr Joshua Barber
Junior School Sports Coordinator