Posted on February 12, 2019
Happy New Year to everyone and welcome to the school year of 2019. A special welcome to all the new families that are joining this year in the Boys’ Middle School – I hope the journey for you is a fulfilling and exciting one.
It was great to see all the boys come back to school with big smiles and a high level of excitement, the corridors of school are such a better place when they are filled with the energy of our students. The Year 7s are quickly finding their way around school including understanding their timetable, finding all their rooms, meeting their new teachers, making new friends, plus much, much more. Our 8s and 9s have also settled really well in their new pastoral groups and academic classes, guided nicely by their Year Level Co-ordinators and Pastoral Mentors.
In Australia 1 in 4 adolescents will experience mental health problems this year. The key to reducing these figures is prevention. Even for students who will never experience a mental health issue, the benefits, in terms of increasing capacity to deal with challenges, changes and stressors, are endless. This year our Middle School has introduced the Resilience Project as a foundation for the development of our students’ wellbeing and reducing the likelihood of mental health issues arising. The program delivers emotionally engaging activities providing evidence-based programs to build resilience and happiness. These fit into four key areas:
1. Gratitude. The act of being thankful and appreciating what you have in life.
2. Empathy (kindness). The capacity to understand and feel what another person is feeling.
3. Mindfulness. The practise of attention regulation.
4. Emotional Literacy. Develops their ability to understand and express their emotions, and practise how to manage them.
For more information on The Resilience Project log on to www.resilienceproject.com.au
It was pleasing to see the successes of our VCE and IB graduates of 2018 (for a summary of the results click here), their results were a great reward for their effort and application. These results are important for our students as they begin their journey into the next phase of their lives; be it the workforce, university, Tafe, etc. However, other attributes that are not measured on a scale like the ATAR scores are seen just as important for our boys and girls to develop in order to help their journey during and after school. At assembly just recently, we spoke to the boys about strong character, the seeking of excellence, striving with confidence and the desire to make the world a better place. Examples were used such as Dylan Alcott who recently won his 5th straight Australian Open title at the tennis this year, with Dylan’s speech replayed in assembly where he spoke of his desire to show the world that people with a disability can still achieve amazing things, and that he himself wants to make a difference to the lives of many people.
On Friday 8 we had our annual Foundation Service which provided us with the opportunity to hear about the school’s history from the original Emma B Cook days in 1877 through to modern day. It also allows us to induct the class of 2024 (this year’s Year 7s) and wish them well on their journey through secondary school.
Last week at assembly the boys enjoyed a clarinet performance from Isaac Hong, Music and Drama Captain.
I look forward to working closely with all of you throughout 2019 as we work together to continue developing upstanding young men.