This week, I have been in Adelaide participating in the EREA Principal’s Conference for the latter part of this week. I always find these conferences to be very stimulating through the activities and workshops that we participate in, but more importantly catching up and networking with College Principals from all round Australia and New Zealand. It is a great time to learn from each other and share good practice. Interestingly, there is a common theme that seems to be emerging from all schools. That is, that they are becoming increasingly more complex and busy places. However, the contemporary research on teaching and learning and associated resources is also more accessible and shared than ever before. Whilst we might be from different states and cities, we all share the same mission of providing a quality wholistic education within a safe and inclusive environment to each young man within our schools. The complexity of the modern school centres on improved knowledge of each young man in our classes and how to best engage him in learning as well as the other students within the class. Conferences such as these allow each of us who attend to learn how we can further enhance how we do this by listening to and asking questions of others. That is one of the great strengths of being within a network of schools such as EREA.

Last Saturday was the last round of Chess, Football and Rugby fixtures. Overall, our aggregate points placed us in 3rd position for Chess, 4th position for Rugby and 5th position for Football. Our Senior A Chess team won a premiership, our First XV won a premiership and the 2nd and 3rd Football teams also won their respective premierships. I would particularly point out the First XV team. This is the first time in our 66 year history that we have won a First XV Rugby premiership. We are very proud of this achievement and the players and coaching staff certainly worked hard throughout the season.

I also believe that this was a successful season not just because of the premierships, but more importantly, we had a record number of young men get involved in all three activities. Each week, I watched so many of them enjoy themselves and make the most of the opportunity to play with their mates from school. It was also a year when we had fewer instances of poor behaviour from our College on or off the field. Each of our young men certainly appeared to try hard to reach our own high standards of sportsmanship and fair play. I would also like to thank the many parents who attended the games and role-modelled our expectations of the students and for all your support and assistance especially at Curlew Park. Finally, my sincerest thanks to all the coaches and managers. Our staff are always so very generous with their time for the young men and there were also so many old boys and parents who also lead busy lives but found some time to assist the young men to be able to have such opportunities. Thank you each and all, your time and efforts are certainly acknowledged and appreciated.

The exam period is now under way. It is time for the students to cut back on other endeavours and concentrate on preparation for the exams. In reality, some may not have the drive or ability to make this move on their own and might require a little support and assistance to plan and prepare for the exams. I appreciate that this can be draining as a parent, but it can be very helpful to your son. I have always believed in the statement that it is difficult to live up to expectations if you do not know what the expectations are. Some young men may need to have these expectations discussed with them leading into next week.

Mr Troy Schultz will forward a communication to all families regarding the new format of the end of semester reports and how to access them and the date that they will be available. At the beginning of the semester, our students in the middle and senior grades set themselves target results for the semester. The first term provided an opportunity to see how they were going in keeping on track for the targets. This report will be an opportunity for the young men to measure themselves against what they had hoped to achieve. The report will provide an opportunity to sit with them and review whether they achieved their target and reset a new one for the second semester. The most significant learning from target setting for our young men is the conversation with others about how they achieved the targets and what went wrong if they missed them. This information can then be used in the discussion around setting a new target. To be effective, student reporting needs a phase of reflection after the results are published with honest discussion around how to grow further and improve. Also, to learn from what worked or did not during the last term. Conversations with parents and teachers (Parent Teacher Interviews) are a significant part of this reflection process.

On Sunday, the Sports Support Group are hosting the Long Table Lunch. This is the first time that they have attempted such an event and I know that a lot of planning has gone into it. I look forward to joining in the fun and catching up with many families over lunch.

Live Jesus in our Hearts!

Mr Chris Mayes – College Principal