From the Principal

The Student Wellbeing Centre – Tintern Grammar’s next major building project!

At our Board and Executive Planning Day on Saturday 11 August, a significant portion of the discussion and decision was around approval of the content and sequence of the revised Tintern Campus Masterplan. Other than in our first years in Ringwood East, we have never really had a long term plan for the campus and this is an exciting prospect!

Our campus master plan is a global, 30+ year plan for the continual and progressive evolution of the Ringwood East campus and will ensure that our growing student numbers can not only be accommodated, but that this will be in buildings that ensure our tradition of whole child focus, student care, and excellent teaching and learning at Tintern continues. While the broader and longer-term details of this will be published to the community in due course, I am particularly excited to announce that the key project in the next stage of the masterplan will be the new Student Wellbeing Centre.

Currently our diverse range of facilities that support students are scattered across the campus. When I consider the locations of counselling, curriculum support and enhancement, First Aid, chaplaincy and a number of other key student services, it is clear that student access is not as easy as it should be and that some students (particularly in the Junior Schools) find access to these support services very problematic. I would also observe that these key supports for our young people are not effectively integrated, as they would be if they were all in the same building, meaning students need to move around the campus at a time when they may feel least able to do so.  

I will be sending an August letter to the community regarding the establishment of our very important partnerships with both The Resilience Project and SchoolTV. In it I also wrote of the very important work being undertaken in our Junior Schools in the area of mindfulness. I see all of these initiatives when combined as critical underpinnings of improved current and future student wellbeing and mental health. More importantly, I am convinced that the self-awareness and emotional intelligence that comes from a successful mindfulness program, integrated with the development of individual resilience are key pre-conditions in growing into a happy and fulfilled post-school life.

These program partnerships and the priority of the Student Wellbeing Centre in the campus master plan reflect the commitment of the Tintern Grammar Board to social/emotional wellbeing lying at the heart of optimal learning and growth, to say nothing of global happiness, well-being and fulfilment in later life. At a time when the challenges for young people have never been greater, I cannot easily convey how proud I am to be a member of a community that looks to foster key learning and growth for young people in all domains and sees every member of its community as a person and not a score.

Our students and staff often remark to me about the balance in our community – boys and girls in numbers that give both genders a voice, but neither gender a dominance. Our parallel model that respects and supports the journey that every girl and boy experiences academically and socially. Our academic emphasis that, by and large, students feel is neither too great, nor too little, and most significantly, the respect and consideration for all in our community, whether high or low profile.

The establishment of our Student Wellbeing Centre will continue the theme of us all being equal, and equally deserving, in the eyes of the world and I could not be more proud of the support and leadership of the Tintern Grammar Board in this initiative. Further and more detailed information on the Student Wellbeing Centre, as well as the campus master plan will be forthcoming. In the near future we will also be promoting the first round of parent information sessions about The Resilience Project, which will commence in Term 1 2019.

Factis non verbis.

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