The three week holiday is upon us and the boys can have a well-deserved break. It has been great to watch them grow over the first half of this year in many different areas of their school lives; from their general manners and behaviour, through to their academic achievements and co-curricular involvement. It is so pleasing to hear from staff members around the school how ‘nice’ our boys are, how they are ‘really trying’ with their school work and also how many of them are achieving exceptionally well. As I’m sure you are all aware, achieving this for 12 – 15 year old boys is not easy; not for you as parents and not for us as teachers. Homework, uniform, punctuality, engagement, effort, are all areas that there wouldn’t be a school in the world (or parent at a given time) that doesn’t battle with when dealing with this age group of boys. Having read all of the reports over the last couple of weeks it is fair to say that I am really impressed with what the overall results in terms of both academic achievements (relative for individual students) and the approach to learning in terms of effort, behaviour, etc. Of course there are boys where there is room for improvement and during their pastoral periods early in Term 3 they will be discussing their results from Semester One with their pastoral mentor and determining their goals and desires for Semester Two. Please ensure over the holidays that as parents you take some time with your boy(s) and discuss how they went in the first semester. I would always encourage that this is done in some informal way rather than a board room type meeting at the kitchen table. Take them for a walk or a bike ride, get them out helping with the gardening or other odd jobs you may have. Boys are so much more willing to talk when they are ‘busy’ doing things.
Early next semester our boys will be briefed by our Vice Principal Mr McManus around subject selection for 2017. This includes elective options for our current Year 7 and 8 boys, and electives for our Year 9s as well as the options of electing to do VCE Unit 1 & 2 subjects or VET subjects in 2017. There has been an information session already around Pathways for our Year 9 families and there is also a further night called our Subject Showcase Evening on Wednesday 20th July starting at 7pm in the Theatre (Year 9 and 10 families). This is for those who are interested in considering accelerating in an areas by selecting to do a VCE or VET subject when in Year 10.
Our Year 8 boys begin their leadership program called ‘Leading Self, Leading Others’ in their pastoral sessions next semester. This includes learning about leadership, successful leaders, what makes them successful and attributes of good leaders. They will have a leadership seminar from an external group whilst also following a guided program led by their pastoral mentors over the semester. It will lead to them having the opportunity to be involved in the Junior School as well as potentially apply for official leadership positions during Term 4 for when they are Year 9 in 2017.
House Showdown is an event that occurs in Term 3 for our boys and this is a 3 – 5 minute dance routine that the boys put together themselves led by their Year 9 House captains. It is during this that we expect leadership from all of our Year 9s but also look to see the level of commitment and involvement (leadership) from both our Year 8s and 7s. The event is on Friday 2nd September at 2:15pm and I would encourage you to put this one in your diary if you can as it is an opportunity to see our boys pushed beyond their comfort zone and to put together something pretty special.
Please enjoy the holidays, stay safe and above all spend quality time with your family. I look forward to seeing all the boys back after their break ready to take on Semester Two and all it has to offer.